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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Our journey towards becoming the most inclusive police force in the country

The recent Black Lives Matter protests and the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in the centre of Bristol made headlines around the world. The events of that weekend in June have amplified the important and urgent conversations which are taking place, not just in Bristol, but throughout the country and the world, about race, diversity, disproportionality and inclusion.

At Avon and Somerset Police, we have an ambition to be the most inclusive police force in the country. This isn’t just a strap line, this is a firm commitment to increasing diversity in our workforce so that we can truly represent the communities we serve.

Deputy Chief Constable Sarah Crew who leads on inclusion and diversity for the organisation said: “In the police, we don’t operate in a vacuum, we operate as part of society. The Black Lives Matter protests have brought into sharp focus the inequalities and injustices that so many people experience. This makes it even more important that we are representative of our communities and that we have their trust and confidence, to enable us to follow the British model of policing by consent.

While ‘inclusive’ is one of our four values, this is so much more than just a word on a page. We see strength in difference and have a whole range of initiatives, teams of people, training and engagement programmes which will help us to keep striving for better representation and diversity in our organisation and improvements in how all our communities experience our service. We work with critical friends and partners who help us to learn from our mistakes and although we are seeing an uplift in our diverse recruitment figures, we know this is not a quick fix and we have a lot of work to do.”

There are a number of ways we are working towards achieving our goal of becoming the most inclusive police force in the country. You can read about them on the Our Inclusive Culture section of our website.