Agenda item

Quarterly Equality and Inclusion Update

Report of the Commissioner of the City of London Police.


The Committee received a Report of the Commissioner of the City of London Police concerning the latest position regarding activity supporting the delivery of the Equality and Inclusion Strategy & Action Plan.


In response to a number of queries, officers emphasised that, whilst facing a challenging recruitment environment, a great deal of work was being undertaken to increase the number of female recruits and those from diverse backgrounds, with a renewed focus on improving outreach and the introduction of a buddying system. It was apparent that progress was being made in diversifying the civilian staff profile at a greater pace than warranted officers, however, there were inherent challenges particular to the latter category, not least the highly competitive recruitment environment due to the police uplift programme. In terms of outreach, a Member suggested that the Force could reach out to law school graduates, given their transferable skills and the steady pipeline of available talent due to the highly competitive nature of that industry. She added that she would be happy to reference the City’s recruitment opportunities to her students during her university lectures.  


It was also highlighted that the age profile of the Police Officer pool at the City was older than the average Force across England and Wales and this had a knock on effect for retention given more officers were closer to retirement. There had been a surge in retirements recently due to changes in pensions arrangements.


Alongside exit interviews, the Force also undertook retention interviews, whereby senior officers would sit down with individuals who had indicated that they were looking to move on to see if the Force could do anything to retain them, and if they were certain about departing, whether there was anything the Force could change for the future.


In terms of the challenges around retention, officers pointed out that the Force was comparatively small compared to other Forces across the country, and there was limited scope for civilian staff members to be rotated or moved into different subject areas.


Several Members cautioned that improving retention, whilst desirable in terms of resilience, should be balanced by the positive fact that staff members were moving to often more senior roles elsewhere across the country, this indicated an encouraging sign that the City of London Police possessed a talented workforce.


A Member noted that the tone of the approach seemed to one based on a listening strategy, which was very welcome; he emphasised that just tracking numbers was not enough, the step change in terms of culture came through building up qualitative data by listening to current staff, leavers, and potential recruits, and giving them the confidence that the organisation was empowering them to affect material changes for the better, a key part of this had to include listening to dissatisfied staff and taking on board their views and feelings.


The Committee asked for further data concerning the differentials in promotion based on gender and ethnicity, officers responded that they would bring this back to the Committee. Members also noted a wider issue of women not always taking up opportunities for promotion when they were clearly qualified and experience to move up to a more senior role, lessons could be drawn from the private sector and Members were happy to share their experience of the types of measures their employers had introduced to encourage women to go for it. Officers raised the example of other Forces taking the initiative and inviting certain individuals to interview when roles became available. This could be something which the City of London Police could look to emulate.


Members noted the high number of respondents of staff members preferring not to state their sexual orientation and suggested that improving this figure would be a good indication that culturally, the organisation was moving in the right direction.


A Member queried whether more could be done in collecting data around silent diversity, for example, faith. Officers responded that they would look if further data can be captured.


The Chair asked that the target dates on KPIs needed to be finalised soon, given the critical need to keep things focused and on track.



RESOLVED – that the Committee noted the Report.  

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