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Commissioner Applauds Northumbria on Stonewall Listing

31st January 2018

The charity Stonewall has announced the country’s top employers today – with Northumbria Police jumping nearly 100 places to cement its place in the top 100. 

Today (Wednesday) the LGBT+ charity announced their list of the best performing employers on their Workplace Equality Index 2018.

The index is their annual audit of workplace culture for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff and takes place at organisations across the country.

Last year Northumbria Police dropped out of the top 100 but now it has emerged they have jumped 99 places – to their highest ever position.

The Force comes in at number 69 which makes it one of the top five police forces in the country for supporting LGBT+ officers and staff.

It comes after Northumbria set up a dedicated LGBT+ Support Association to engage with members of the LGBT+ community and offer support to the workforce.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird said: “Congratulations to all at Northumbria Police who have helped achieve this superb milestone. There is a huge amount of activity ongoing in the force to celebrate diversity – from simple tactics such as officers wearing rainbow laces to our incredible support and presence at Pride events. Making our organisation a better place to work for our LGBT staff  isn’t simply a tickbox exercise – it’s something that runs through the very heart of what we do.”

Following the publication of the list, Deputy Chief Constable Darren Best said he was “proud” of the force’s position and in particular praised those involved in the association.

He said: “I am incredibly proud that our organisation has jumped 99 places to achieve what is our highest ever position in the Stonewall list of top 100 employers.

“We want to make sure all of our officers and staff have support networks in place regardless of their age, gender, race or sexuality and this shows we are moving in the right direction.

“It is also a great testament to the work we are doing with LGBT+ communities in our region to make sure that they have confidence in us as a police force.

“Our LGBT+ Association has played a crucial role in this and established really strong relationships with members of the public to find out what we can do better as an organisation.

“I will do everything I can to make sure they have the tools to improve those relationships and to continue to support lesbian, gay, bi and trans officers and staff.

“We will endeavour to improve and hopefully next year we can break the top 50.”

Matt Murray is a detective constable in Central CID but also dedicated hours of his own time as co-chair of the LGBT+ Support Association alongside PC Amy Tapping.

He said the Association has gone from strength-to-strength in the past twelve months and attracted members from across the organisation.

Matt said: “We have worked really hard to ensure we are an inclusive association and many of our members are actually straight but want to learn more about the LGBT+ community.

“This means they can offer support where they can to their colleagues but it also puts them in a better position when engaging with members of the public who identify as lesbian, gay, bi or trans.

“The fact that we have jumped 99 places in just one year shows we are on the right track and we want to continue to build this association so we can make sure nobody feels ashamed or embarrassed about who they are.”

The Northumbria Police LGBT+ Support Association are on Twitter and can be found by searching @NPLGBT.