National Inclusion Week runs from September 26th – October 2nd and aims to celebrate inclusivity in all its forms.
Here at South Wales Police, we are committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce and have several initiatives in place to help achieve this.
We are particularly proud of the work put in by our staff associations and networks, who do amazing work to help create safe spaces for both those in Force and for those in the community.
Our networks are run by serving officers and staff, often in their spare time, and hold significant influence over decisions made within the Force.
You can read more about each network below.
Black Police Association
Our South Wales Black Police Association (SWBPA) was formed in 1999 and aims to improve trust and confidence between the police and minority ethnic communities. Members of the association are all part of ethnic communities and play a vital role in supporting not just each other, but the wider community as well.
Co-chairs PC Bharat Narbad and Marcia Gittens have been part of the association since its inception and work to improve the working environment of BAME officers and staff within the Force and to enhance the quality of service provided to our communities. They do so by advocating for equal opportunities, assisting in policy developments, supporting members with grievances and by feeding back good practice from other forces.
PC Narbad said: “It’s important to have a support group that can relate to staff who have a particular characteristic. A quote that I find particularly impactful in my work is ‘equality is being invited to a function, but inclusivity is being asked to dance at that function’. And that’s exactly what the BPA is here to do, be a core part of important functions.”
Christian Police Association
Our Christian Police Association is part of a national network for those of Christian faith within policing, aiming to provide support whilst also building bridges between the Christian community and the police.
Disability Support Network
Our Disability Support Network was created to provide support to those with, living through, a disability or caring for someone who is. The network strives to highlight the complexities of those who have a disability and ensure that the workplace has measures in place for those who need them.
Gender Equality Network
Initially formed as Female Police Association back in 2001, that championed women in policing before developing into our Gender Equality Network (GEN), this is a network of colleagues from across the Force who work together to provide a positive workplace for all genders by assisting in policy change, promoting health and wellbeing initiatives, and encouraging fair representation in all ranks and roles.
GEN Chair, Sarah Bray, said: “We’re not an exclusive club for women only. In fact we are really proud of our journey from a network for women, to one that works toward gender equality and how much our membership has grown as a result. Because the more inclusive we are as a network, the better placed we are to ensure decisions and practices don’t inadvertently discriminate against anyone.”
As part of this network, we also have our GENMEN, a sub-group that aims to promote all things relating to men’s health, whilst at the same time using physical activity to help improve the mental and physical health of all those in Force.
Co-Chair Ch Insp Jay Davies said: “Our mantra is 'small steps lead to big changes'. One man dies by suicide every minute of every day across the world, so we really hope that GENMEN can create a safer, more supportive space for men to break the stigma of the 'alpha male' by encouraging men to open-up and talk about their feelings and improving their resilience.”
Representing South Wales within the wider Wales LGBT+ Police Network, this is a network which provides advice and support, whilst working to ensure that policies, practices and facilities are supportive and non-discriminatory to those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Our newest staff network, set up in 2021, the Neurodiversity Network was formed with the aim of providing a point of support for Neurodivergent colleagues and colleagues who may be carers for individuals with neurodiverse conditions.
Though only a year old, the network is already supporting work around raising awareness of Neurodiversity within South Wales Police and is proud to have contributed to force-wide learning including webinars, internal awareness raising and training.
The network members drive the aims of the work it engages with and have identified wellbeing and mental health, communications, recruitment and progression and awareness raising as its priority focus areas.
Network secretary Poppy Hayhurst said: “Representation is key for the network, and we are proud to have members with personal and professional experience with a range of neurodiverse conditions including autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyscalculia.”