Category: Awareness days, responsibility, college, purpose, representative, force
In a collaboration of police forces from Police Scotland in the north to Devon and Cornwall Police in the south, forty-six national forces plus the College of Policing have come together to form PAPA – the Positive Action Practitioner Alliance.
PAPA’s purpose is to bring together officers and staff who hold a responsibility for developing a diverse and representative workforce. It is a forum in which we share best practices and work together to influence policies and processes to ensure that any barriers that can disadvantage people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds in their policing careers are mitigated.
What is Positive Action? Positive Action is a range of lawful actions that seek to overcome or minimise disadvantages in employment opportunities that people who share a protected characteristic have experienced, or to meet their different needs. It is about creating a level playing field to enable people to compete on equal terms, with equality of opportunities.
On 6th December 2017, we at Thames Valley Police hosted the PAPA quarterly conference. The day was opened by words of support and encouragement by our own Chief Constable, Francis Habgood, and the PAPA Vice Chairperson, Chief Inspector Ann Bell of Police Scotland.
In a room full of guests, we had the opportunity to welcome our colleagues from across the country and further develop the activities that we will implement in the New Year. Our focused plans include six key areas that we aim to improve for our BAME colleagues and communities: Leadership & Culture, Attraction, Progression, Retention, Exit from Service, and Wellbeing & Fulfilment.
The College of Policing representative spoke of the new technologies that are being invested in, such as the new Virtual Careers Fair for which Thames Valley Police are a pilot force. It will give members of the public can easy access to view the world of policing; the chance to ask TVP representatives questions about the police and how you can join us, live from your own devices. We also had some healthy debates about the objectives and direction of PAPA to ensure we achieve the best results for our BAME colleagues.
After some sandwiches and samosas, we had the opportunity to showcase some of the initiatives that Thames Valley Police have developed and implemented. We engaged in discussions with our SAME Staff Support Network Chairperson; we shared the success of our recent BME Development Day which other forces can organise their own areas (read more here), and learned of insights from an officer who is on our PALS Development Programme (more information about this coming soon!).
The enthusiasm and passion of the speakers, leaders and audience demonstrated the sincerity with which Police services are driven to ensure there is fair representation within our organisations of people of all backgrounds, cultures and abilities, and that we are driven to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and supported in their ambitions.
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