Equality and diversity | Norfolk Constabulary

You are here

Equality and diversity

The cultural landscape of Norfolk is changing and to provide a high quality police service, whilst ensuring our communities have trust and confidence in what we do, relies on our staff understanding and respecting people's differences in the communities we serve. 

We recognise that equality and diversity cannot just be a ‘bolt on’ or something that would be ‘nice to do’ but an absolute necessity if we are to succeed. Through our actions, equality schemes, decision making processes and policy development we will continue to identify and tackle inequality whilst promoting good community relationships.

We will provide equal opportunities in employment, career and progression by ensuring that our policies and procedures are inclusive. We will do this by ensuring that they are Equality Impact Assessed and any adverse impact identified is tackled.

Find out more about our strategies and equality and diversity

 

Gypsy Travellers

Gypsy Travellers (Gypsy Romany and Irish) have the full protection from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 and although they are two distinct groups, they do share a commonality when it comes to discrimination.

Travelling People are not a single culturally homogenous group who can be identified by the use of dubious racial stereotypes. Like any other section of society they have their own ethnic identity, differences and traditions, what is true for one group is not necessarily true for all or indeed any of the others.

Nonetheless all groups do appear to share some cultural values around areas of cleanliness, independence and have a particularly strong emphasis on the family group.

What is important for us to recognise is that these differences exist and that policing styles should be adapted to accommodate not only the needs of each group but, as far as is reasonably practicable, individuals within that group.

We have a dedicated Roma, Gypsy Traveller Liaison Officer who is based within the Diversity Team at Police HQ, Wymondham and whose role is to improve communications between Gypsy Travellers, police and the settled communities.

Race

Norfolk has a wide diversity of communities that are increasing each year, according to the available census data.

We also have a high proportion of migrant workers who come here to work for varying lengths of time. The University of East Anglia in Norwich has a large population of students which is going to increase over the coming years.

To ensure that all our communities receive a fair and equitable service we work very hard to promote race equality throughout the organisation:

  • We have dedicated Diversity Liaison Officers who liaise with minority communities, support groups and organisations to increase trust and confidence in the police and reduce fear of crime. They also help to promote internal awareness of the needs of minority communities and provide operational support
  • We have an internal Black Police Association Staff Support Network. This is a network of police officers and staff which seeks to improve the working environment and ensure the equality of opportunity for black and minority staff employed within the Norfolk Police. It supports the Force's ambition to employ a workforce which reflects the diversity of the population it serves and to enhance racial harmony and the quality of service to the black community of Norfolk.

Sexual Orientation

We recognise that there are barriers people face as a result of their sexual orientation and there are various ways in which we address these issues:

  • Norfolk Constabulary is part of Stonewall's Diversity Champions programme which helps us engage more effectively with our staff and the LGBT+ community in Norfolk. In their Workplace Equality Index (a benchmarking tool) Norfolk is ranked at in the Top 100 at number 32 and in 2016 was named the fourth highest performing police service in the country.
  • We have dedicated LGBT Link Officers whose role is a voluntary position in addition to their day job which is open to all officers and Police Staff across the organization from a diversity of operational and support roles, including Response, Crime Development Team, Road Traffic, Contact & Dispatch, and Training.
  • Officers and Staff carry out their duties in a variety of different ways committing a percentage of their duty time each month to this work. Some LGBT Link Officers work primarily with the victims of homophobic or transphobic incidents/crimes supporting individuals through the sometimes difficult and traumatic experience of reporting hate crime. 
  • Other LGBT Link Officers offer advice on policing services to members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community on the Police Service in Norfolk. All engage with the LGBT community in a variety of ways, attending gay and gay friendly venues and events and through the local Gay Press.
  • Internally we have an LGBT Staff Support Network called the Norfolk LGBT+ Police Network. The network aims to provide support to its members who may have issues related to their sexuality and also advises its members of national developments, legislation and provision for equal rights.
     

Language

You may not have heard of Tigrianian, Papiamento, Gilbertese or Tagalog, yet these are only four of over a hundred languages used in Norfolk during the last year.

Language provision has grown at a phenomenal rate, with substantial increases in asylum seekers, refugees and migrant workers.

As part of our commitment and responsibility to provide equal services to all the people of Norfolk, the County Council has created INTRAN.

INTRAN is a multi-agency partnership that provides foreign language interpreters, British Sign Language interpreters and lip speakers on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week basis, and written translations for those residents of Norfolk who depend on interpreters and for you. INTRAN is non-profit making and fully financed by its members.

The INTRAN Partnership includes:

  • all NHS organisations in the county
  • District Councils
  • Norfolk Constabulary
  • the Probation Service
  • Norwich City College
  • Connexions
  • YMCA 
  • 40 smaller agencies including housing associations and other voluntary organisations.

If you have ever had to work with someone who has difficulty expressing themselves in spoken English, you will know that the experience can be confusing, stressful, and professionally inappropriate for both you and that person. Through INTRAN, you will be able to access the kind of interpreter you need quickly and efficiently.
 

Gender

When gender differences are not recognised, both men and women can be disadvantaged. It is recognised that women usually, but not always, have greater caring responsibilities and this will have an effect on what hours and type of job they do. Although men now have greater responsibilities in terms of carer roles it is sometimes difficult when employers do not recognise this and people can feel unsupported.

In terms of crime, women have a greater vulnerability towards domestic violence and sexual assaults whereas men are more likely to be the victims of murder and other types of violent crime. We aim to break down these stereotypes and provide men and women with a level playing field with equal changes to access services and employment. 

Internally, gender equality is promoted and discussed at the various Staff Support Networks such as The Forum (leading positive change in Norfolk Constabulary in relation to gender, flexible working & caring matters), and the Women's Self Organised Group (WSOG) through Unison.

 

Gender reassignment

We now live in a more equal society where men and women have many interests in common, however we still tend to think in stereotypes and expect different things from each group.

What we know:

  • Society divides people into categories, boy or girl, depending on the male or female appearance at birth. These physical differences define our sex.
  • Gender identity describes the inner sense of knowing that we are men or women.
  • Gender role describes how we behave in society.
  • It is important to note that this is different from sexual orientation, which is whether a person is sexually attracted to men, women, or both or, very occasionally, neither.

Some people suffer assault, harassment, verbal abuse or other hostility because of their actual or perceived gender identity. These attacks are known collectively as hate incidents. The Constabulary has a duty to protect those in society who are vulnerable to such victimisation.

We understand the barriers that Transgendered people face and work closely with Stonewall and  Transgender groups throughout Norfolk to ensure that their voices are heard on matters of policy and procedures.

We promise that you will not be treated less favourably by us if you are a transgender person. We actively work to encourage and promote workplace equality for all.

 

Definitions

The following section provides explanations of the terms used under the transgender umbrella:

Transgender men
People who were assigned female at birth but identify and live as men may use this term to describe themselves. They may shorten it to trans man. Some may also use FTM, an abbreviation for female-to-male. Some may prefer to simply be called men, without any modifer. It is best to ask which term an individual prefers.

Transgender women
People who were assigned male at birth but identify and live as women may use this term to describe themselves. They may shorten to trans woman. Some may also use MTF, an abbreviation for male-to-female. Some may prefer to simply be called women. It is best to ask which term an individual prefers.

Transsexual
An older term still preferred by some people who have transitioned to live as a different gender than the one society assigns them at birth. Many trans people do not identify as transsexual and prefer the word transgender. It is best to ask which term an individual prefers. If preferred, use as an adjective: transsexual women or transsexual man.

Non-binary
People whose gender identities do not fit into the gender binary of male and female. A non-binary person might consider themselves to be neither male nor female, or to be in some sense both male and female, or to be sometimes male and sometimes female. People identifying as non-binary will sometimes prefer to refer to themselves using pronouns which are not gendered, for example ‘they’. 

Intersex
This is a separate identity to trans but some feel there are areas of shared concern between trans people and intersex people. Intersex people are individuals whose anatomy or physiology differs from contemporary cultural assumptions about what constitutes male or female. Intersex conditions may arise due to certain congenital disorders or hormone imbalances in the fetus or placenta. Anatomical sex at birth may differ from the chromosomal or gonadal sex. Genitalia may be ambiguous, but can often appear totally female or totally male.

Transsexual people
A person who feels a consistent and overwhelming desire to transition and fulfil their life as a member of the opposite sex. Someone in this position will have the medical condition called gender dysphoria. 

Transvestite people
The clinical name for a cross-dresser. A person who dresses in the clothing of the opposite sex. Generally, these persons do not wish to alter their body and do not necessarily experience gender dysphoria. They are individuals who feel a strong compulsion to cross-dress with the intention of adopting the appearance, mannerisms and behaviour of the opposite gender.

Faith & Belief

In England we have laws that give you the right to:

  • hold your own religious beliefs or other philosophical beliefs similar to a religion
  • have no religion or belief
  • practice your religion or belief, express your views and get on with your day-to-day life without experiencing threats or discrimination.

Any religiously motivated hate crime has the same impact on individuals as those directed against race or disability.

There are several ways that Norfolk Constabulary ensures we cater for different faiths and beliefs: 

  • The Constabulary has developed a multi-faith chaplaincy made up of various religious groups in Norfolk and will serve as a resource not only to our staff but to the wider community as well.
  • The Constabulary also has an internal Christian Police Association staff support group aimed at promoting and fostering the fellowship of Christians within the police service.
  • We also have a member of staff who acts as the Norfolk representative of the Catholic Police Guild whose role includes being the single point of contact with the Guild for the officers and staff of the Force.
     

Disability

It is estimated that around 20% of the population have a disability - for Norfolk that equates to around 175,000 people.

We are determined to make sure that people who have disabilities, whether they are visible or not, have the same chance to access our services or work for us as people who have no disabilities:

  • We work very closely with disability groups across the county to ensure that disabled people have a voice and can tell us what they want, need and expect from us. 
  • We work alongside the Disability Advisory Forum, who advise us on matters of policy and procedure whilst acting as a critical friend. By actively involving disabled people we can be confident that we get it right.

 

The Law and Our Role:

The Equality Act 2010 became law in October 2010 and replaced previous legislation such as the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.  The act ensured consistency in what employers and employees needed to do to make their workplaces fair and compliant with the law. As a result the Constabulary launched its refreshed Diversity Strategy 2013 -2016 setting out its commitment to equality and diversity. 

This gave us the chance to work closely with several disability groups and gave us a good foundation on which to build future engagement and involvement. 

Here are some of the initiatives currently in place:

Autism Alert Card
People who are on the Autistic Spectrum can apply for a card which they carry on them. If they are stopped by the police they can hand the card to the officer which explains to them what they need to do.

Disability Advisory Forum
The Disability Advisory Form works to ensure disabled people have a say in the decision making processes of Norfolk Constabulary and Norfolk Police Authority. The input from the Forum has a key role to play in helping to increase public confidence in the police, particularly amongst disabled people.

Reach Out
Reach Out is a network for staff with disabilities and staff who are supporting dependents with disabilities. They also welcome members of staff who support the networks aims and objectives.

 

Disability Hate Crime and Incidents

The Constabulary takes all forms of hate crime seriously and recognises that it is vastly under-reported. We would urge anyone who thinks they may be a victim of a disability-related hate crime to get in touch. 

Hate Incident:
This is any non-crime incident which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability.

Hate Crime:
This is any criminal offence which is perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s disability or perceived disability.

The definitions above relate to any disability including physical disability, learning disability and mental health.

 

For more information about helping you cope with the effects of crime, please visit www.victimsupport.org.uk 

Age

Crime affects us all but in different ways and to varying degrees.

Children:

Research tells us that 1 in 4 of all children have been a victim of crime. Children are also more likely to suffer crime than adults but less likely to report it. 

We have two dedicated websites for young people:

Beatwise 
Beatwise is aimed at 13-18 year olds providing safety advice to help youngsters stay safe, learn about the law and how they can interact with Norfolk Police.

Wisekids
Wisekids has been designed specifically for 7-12 year olds. It features safety advice and information on the police, like the vehicles they use or the police dogs who work with them. 

 

The Elderly:

Norfolk continues to have a relatively elderly age profile, with around 7% of the population aged 65 to 74 and 5% aged 75 and over. According to research, older people are more likely to become victims of bogus callers and rogue traders.

Bogus Callers and Rogue Traders prey on vulnerable members of society, often stealing irreplaceable sentimental items or taking large amounts of cash from those who can least afford it.

We give a high priority to catching and dealing with these people and have had a number of successes in tracking them down but we also want to help people living in our county to avoid becoming a victim of these criminals. A section of this website has been dedicated to informing and educating residents about bogus callers and rogue traders.