Gwent Police recognised as a disability confident leader
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The Department for Work and Pensions has awarded Gwent Police the highest level of accreditation for its work to build an organisation that is both equal and inclusive for all its employees, and becomes the only police force in Wales to receive such an accreditation.
The award, based on three levels of attainment, demonstrates the organisations commitment to challenge, lead and provide support on disability, mental health and wellbeing.
The national lead for disability in policing, Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said:
“Policing is committed to engaging with all of our communities and providing the appropriate support to all who need it.
“This accreditation demonstrates Gwent Police’s commitment to building an organisation that supports everyone.
“As a major employer within the region it’s important that Gwent Police is seen as a career destination for all.
“Being a disability confidence leader means that Gwent Police has evidenced a clear commitment and drive to support those with visible and non-visible disabilities.”
With almost a fifth of working age adults across the UK reporting they had a disability in 2019 – 2020, it is important that employers make themselves as accessible, inclusive and supportive as possible.
As part of the accreditation process, independently validated by Public Health Wales, Gwent Police highlighted a number of support services which benefit those with disabilities, the wider organisation and the communities of Gwent.
Recruitment is an area where significant resources have been made available to aid potential candidates with disabilities. The positive action team has a dedicated officer, specifically in post to provide support to anyone joining policing with a disability. The force also operates a guaranteed interview scheme which allows anyone who attains the minimum set criteria an opportunity to interview.
Within the organisation, employees are provided a range of support throughout their professional career. Dyslexia screening, work place adjustments, neurodiversity champions and extensive occupational health services, are there to ensure anyone with disability has the opportunity to succeed. Officers and staff also have an opportunity to join a dedicated staff network which ensures that the organisation is challenged to do more.
Across Gwent, there is also a drive to better engage and educate the communities of Gwent on disability. Gwent Police has a widely successful Heddlu Bach and Cadets programme which actively goes into local schools, including specialist schools that provide dedicated support to those with disabilities.
Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman continued:
“This accreditation doesn’t mean our work to better support those with disabilities stops.
“We are continually looking for new and better ways to encourage those with disabilities to engage and join policing.
“Only by working together can we truly build an organisation and society that’s inclusive for all.”