Force commits its support for gender equality through the HeForShe movement

Issued on 4/3/19 at 9:33 a.m.

Leicestershire Police has committed its support for gender equality by signing up to the HeForShe movement.

The global campaign calls for men and boys to work with women to address gender imbalance and promote equality.

Today Chief Constable Simon Cole, on behalf of Leicestershire Police, has signed up to the campaign to ensure the force demonstrates equality for women from the top down.

Mr Cole said: “We are delighted to support this campaign. Leicestershire Police strives to make sure the force represents the communities it serves and this includes making our senior roles more gender representative.

“We will continue to drive this agenda forward. By signing this commitment we acknowledge that we must continue the hard work and hope that other organisations, including police forces will seek to do the same.”

In addition, the campaign asks others to take action against domestic abuse and sexual abuse and supports the annual reporting of gender equality information.

Some 30 per cent of the force’s police officers are female, while 65 per cent of Police Staff are and 44 per cent of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), 50 per cent of Volunteers and 32 per cent of Specials.

Mr Cole added: “The force takes domestic violence and sexual abuse extremely seriously.

“As well as our own dedicated officers, we work with a number of professional agencies to support victims and help identify those who may be vulnerable.

“Our aim is to break down any barriers which may prevent some people from reaching out to the police to get the support they need and deserve and to prevent further acts of physical, sexual and emotional abuse from taking place.”

Leicestershire Police is among many forces who have committed to the HeForShe movement since it was first launched.

The force has an active Women’s Inclusive Network (WIN) which is constantly working to improve the quality of the working environment for colleagues.

Superintendent Natalee Wignall chairs the WIN.

She said: “I fully support the HeForShe movement. I’m extremely pleased that Leicestershire Police fully endorses the messages behind it and has shown its commitment to creating equality in an environment which is often perceived as male dominated.

“I have worked in policing for the past 21 years and in that time have seen attitudes towards the role of women in policing change considerably. I’m proud to work for a force like Leicestershire and to champion further improvements, including greater equality.”

Assistant Chief Constable Jason Masters is the force’s strategic lead for gender, chairing the Gender Working Group which seeks to ensure gender equality is among the core values of the force and assesses the need for further development.

He added: “Ensuring there are no barriers to those working or seeking roles within the force is extremely important and I’m pleased that this is being formally recognised through the HeForShe campaign.”

Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I wholeheartedly support this campaign. We consistently call for an inclusive society yet overlook the fact that too often prejudice is rooted in gender. This cannot ever be right. We must all support a change in long-standing stereotypical beliefs to achieve full and genuine equality.”

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