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Senior officers unite to tackle gender inequality in policing


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Issues of violence against women and girls can be better addressed with a more balanced workforce, says chief.

Senior officers and representatives across 43 forces

Senior officers and representatives across 43 forces


Senior police officers gathered at New Scotland Yard to commit to work towards gender equality.

Delegates from 43 forces united on Monday to promote equality within the workplace, aspiring to improve the gender imbalances at senior levels within policing.

By becoming more representative of communities, it is hoped issues of violence against women and girls can be better addressed.

Employment and promotion of female officers has improved over previous years with Home Office figures revealing a year on year increase.

Of the 3,255 officers promoted in 2016/17, 876 were female - 27 per cent - an increase on the year before with 442 female officers promoted.

However, senior police leaders Chief Constable Sara Thornton and West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dee Collins have both stated more needs to be done to tackle the disparity.

The event was held to build on the work started by Surrey and Sussex Police where last year the forces became global representatives for law enforcement under the HeForShe initiative, which encourages men and boys to take a stand against inequality faced by women and girls.

Sussex Chief Constable Giles York said: “True gender equality is a shared responsibility; supporting HeForShe demonstrates the strength of our commitment to ensuring a police force that is representative of the communities we serve.

“Central to this is the priority to combat domestic abuse and sexual abuse to create communities free from such abuse. This is a unique opportunity to address violence towards women and girls. Our support of HeForShe underlines how Surrey and Sussex Police are dedicated to tackling gender inequality.”

Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt of the Metropolitan Police, who hosted the event, said: “Today is an important day. The Met has long been committed to diversity across the force to reflect the communities it serves, and we pride ourselves on being an equal opportunities organisation.

"But we have more to do and our work to create a level playing field continues. As a senior male officer, affirming our ongoing commitment to gender equality by supporting the HeForShe campaign is another step forward.

“It is a fantastic campaign driving real change internationally, which has the backing of an increasing number of police forces across the UK.”

Elizabeth Nyamayaro, senior advisor to Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director for UN Women and the head of the HeForShe initiative said: "I am delighted that more police forces have today made that move to commit to gender equality.”

CC Collins, president of the British Association for Women in Policing, spoke out in March about the gender pay gap in policing.

But forces attributed the difference to disproportionality in the number of female officers in senior posts – with many being police staff on lower pay.

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