Race Equality Matters is pleased to announce that Thames Valley Police have been awarded Bronze and Safe Space Plus Trailblazer status!

Thames Valley Police (TVP) has been recognised and celebrated as an organisation that is committed to achieving racial equality in the workplace. 100% of judges voted that the organisation had demonstrated evidence of action taken to tackling racial inequality noting the strong impact of this action. 77.1% of judges voted for Thames Valley Police to receive the status. The judges noted TVP’s deep and meaningful engagement with racial inequality issues, including substantial colleague engagement and awareness of matters relating to ethnic identity, faith, and religion.

Their clear determination, sustained action, impact, and commitment makes them a trailblazer for change.


Actions and Initiatives

Working Together to Drive Change

TVP have launched a broad range of initiatives under this banner. These include: dedicated safe spaces implemented by SAME (Support Association for Minority Ethnic staff) where officers and staff can conduct meaningful conversations about diversity and inclusion; Muslim Police Association awareness sessions to discuss the connection between race and religion; an Iftar event for Ramadan where employees were invited to open fast with Muslim colleagues; the Let’s Talk About initiative, which provides a safe space to promote discussions of diversity and inclusion with themes including racism, privilege, inequality and disproportionality; Sergeant to Chief Inspector Programme to increase the diversity in operational senior ranks by supporting professional development of officers from ethnic backgrounds; and a Power of Belonging initiative, a workshop which seeks to create a culture of inclusivity and belonging by explaining the benefits of a diverse workforce 

“Supporting You”

TVP have also launched several initiatives under this banner. These include (but are not limited to): breaking down language barriers through the introduction of a new interpretation and translation service to reduce language barriers in all engagement with limited and non-English speakers; Staff Support Networks, including SAME (Support Association for Minority Ethnic staff), the GRTPA (Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association) and MPA (Muslim Police Association); the introduction of multi-faith rooms; positive action promotion and coaching to support people from under-represented backgrounds towards promotion; Positive Action and Learning Sets (PALS) to improve retention of police and staff from ethnic minority backgrounds; and Foundation Training Support to provide ongoing support and guidance for ethnically diverse Student Officers.  The force has also participated in Police Now’s Frontline Leadership Programme, which although open to all was actively promoted to those from minority ethnic backgrounds and women to encourage those groups to prepare for promotion from constable to sergeant. 

Engagement, Recruitment & Retention

TVP have launched several initiatives under this banner. These include: a QR Card initiative to increase representation of individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds and to promote careers within the police by directing members of the public to the Valuing Difference page of their careers site; the introduction of a Positive Action & Engagement Team (PAET), a dedicated team of police officers from minority ethnic backgrounds focused on building engagement with under-represented communities and encouraging them to consider a career with the police; community events; workshops to help candidates prepare for the National Online Assessment Centre assessments; and Meet the Family, an initiative to improve engagement with candidate’s families to help dispel any concerns they may have. 


Impact and Ethnically diverse Staff Endorsement 

  • Improvement of staff awareness and increased understanding of racial inequality themes and topics. Participants noted feeling safe and encouraged to take part in conversations during initiatives such as ‘Tea Breaks’ and ‘Let’s Talk About’ sessions.
  • Participation in a Ramadan awareness session; officers and staff from a range of ranks and roles, including the then Chief Constable John Campbell attended, improving understanding and knowledge of Ramadan and the Islamic religion.
  • 94% of staff strongly agreed and agreed that Development Day objectives were achieved, strengthening personal resilience and growth mind-sets. 
  • Staff felt more able to bring their authentic selves to work and recognised the importance of promoting a culture of inclusion.
  • Recruitment of ethnically diverse staff has increased from 6% to 10% in the last 12 months.
  • Ethnically diverse staff have endorsed a range of the initiatives and feel more confident and empowered. 
  • A survey for PALs showed that 81% of participants felt their leadership skills improved, while 98% agreed that participation on the programme enabled them to better understand their strengths and areas of development.


Feedback from an Ethnically Diverse Panel

TVP Trailblazer application was considered by judges to be robust and comprehensive. Judges commented that the organisation had demonstrated a commitment to fostering inclusivity within their workforce which showed insight and respect in practice. Note was given to the ways in which interactive educational experiences had nurtured a dignified understanding of where race met religion, and of the substantial evidence of deep and meaningful colleague engagement.

One judge commented that the strong application of the networks and utilisation of information from people with lived experiences illustrated brilliance that showed real assurance. They said that the organisation ‘had embraced the REM initiative and had displayed strong planning informed by real data.


Next steps…

Moving forward, TVP seeks to (among other actions):

  • Power of belonging: expand the workshops to new areas: Slough workshops to commence from October 2022. Windsor and Maidenhead workshops to commence from August 2022.
  • QR card to be introduced in additional locations, subject to successful pilot.
  • In terms of future programmes, they will introduce a Supportive Leadership course, which includes training on values, behaviour, and inclusion. 
  • Raising the profile of diversity and inclusion by having the Senior Leaders to take part in reverse mentoring focusing on race. This initiative will be led by the Diversity & Inclusion team.
  • They will celebrate Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month and South Asian Heritage Month in 2023.
  • They currently have 2 more next Meet the Family events in the pipeline and the next one will be in October.
  • They are taking part in Black History Month in October 2022. A key part of our Race Action Plan focuses on our Black Communities and highlights the work in which their organisation would like to strive towards. They have a dedicated month to focus on Black history, such as allyship podcasts, sharing stories from staff regarding their lived experiences and an in-person event with external speakers about Black History. It is important to note that their efforts will not just be for October but an ongoing focus.


Follow Thames Valley Police’s Lead: Become a Trailblazer


If your organisation is driving change for Race Equality and you can demonstrate impact, endorsement from ethnically diverse employees and share future plans; register your interest for the next round of trailblazers. 

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