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Dr Wendy Laverick Senior Lecturer in Criminology ‘POLICING REFORM: CONSEQUENCES FOR THE GENDER AGENDA AND THE FEMALE POLICE WORKFORCE’

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Wendy Laverick Senior Lecturer in Criminology ‘POLICING REFORM: CONSEQUENCES FOR THE GENDER AGENDA AND THE FEMALE POLICE WORKFORCE’"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Wendy Laverick Senior Lecturer in Criminology ‘POLICING REFORM: CONSEQUENCES FOR THE GENDER AGENDA AND THE FEMALE POLICE WORKFORCE’ Liz Cain Senior Lecturer in Sociology 21 October 2014 New Scotland Yard

2 How times have changed… We don’t get called Plonks anymore. Female Officer Yes it has changed, I remember applying years ago for the crime squad and three girls applied for it and they said you know only one of you is going to get it and it was like yeah, ok, it was like accepted I think the [force] definitely recognise women and have come on because I remember questions in my interview, ‘so when you have your period are you able to carry on normally or are you going to have to’, they put that in the application form. Female Officer

3 Methodology MMU and BAWP250 + Participants14 Forces across the UKQuestionnaires and Interviews

4 Gender Agenda For the Police Service to demonstrate consistently that it values women in policing. To achieve a gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation balance across the rank and role structure and specialisms. To have a woman’s voice in influential policy forums focusing on both internal and external service delivery. To develop an understanding of the competing demands in achieving a work/life balance and a successful career. To have a working environment and equipment of the right quality and standards to enable women to do their jobs professionally.

5 Encouraging Signs Female Representative Police Staff Support Organisation Coordinator …over the last twelve months, a lot more interest [is] heading towards us. A lot more inquiries and people talking to us and more people starting to join us actively, wanting to get involved, wanting to do things and I think that is because there is now a recognition things aren’t that rosy, we thought things were great because the force has done this, that and the other, we don’t need the network anymore, everything is fine for women, but now, with things starting to bite and things starting to slip they are starting to realise actually we need the network.

6 Gender is not a barrier… Female Officer Most female constables in this force don’t think there is a problem with being female, they feel that they have got equality and everything is fine until they start looking for promotion or start a family and then suddenly they start feeling these hurdles around Training Fitness Personal Development Progression

7 Complex Life Patterns Female Part Time Officer Being a working parent, particularly when you have strived to have a career, keeping that career when you are a working parent provides you with no end of conundrums, personally, professionally, everything else, you do have to, I don’t know how you feel but you do have to keep swimming with the tide because the minute you dip out of that, everything I feel, all the degrees I’ve done, the work, the professional qualifications I have done, working my way up, does feel and I have reached the points where I felt like that is a total waste of the last, how old am I now, fifteen years, it has felt like a waste of the last fifteen years of my life and you do end up with thinking, how does having a child make me feel that way?

8 Representativeness CautionComplexityUnder-representationForce variationPolice staff reductions Changes to recruitment and progression Changes to shift pattern arrangements Changes to fitness test requirements

9 Training and Development Male Officer I still think they have got a long way to go with training, they are still doing the residential courses, a friend of mine has just gone on mounted section and he has had to go away for sixteen weeks, well you can imagine that if you were a female with young children that would just be virtually impossible and to be honest for him it has been virtually impossible, sixteen weeks away, and another person, the five day intelligence course, that has created an issue because it is so far away from his house and again it is just, it is still four nights away from home CentralisationLess flexibilityLess advance notice Reduced trainingReduced developmentFinancial support

10 Line Manager Training, Development and Support Female Officer I think there should be mentoring if you are going into a senior management role, um, I took mine on eighteen months ago now, when I got the job that was it, you carry on and just do what you have got to do and figure it out for yourself, um and I sit here and question myself ninety percent of the day, have I got that right? Female Officer It is not only the implementation it is also the awareness of it, many of the supervisors are not even aware of some of these policies exist

11 Supporting the Welfare Needs of Women Flexible and Part-Time Working Maternity Issues Surrogacy and Adoption Sickness Older Police Workforce Mixed Teams Dual Police Families

12 Older Female Workforce Female Officer We are going to have to work longer but what we don’t want is to be shoved in the corner and said just do what you can, we still want to contribute, we have still got something to offer, possibly not what we did fifteen, twenty years ago, but we have still got a lot to offer the force, we have time, experience, knowledge that you only get with twenty, thirty years and perhaps they might be overlooking that, missing those opportunities for the older worker

13 Financial Hardship Female Equality & Diversity Practitioner The indications are that police officers and police officer’s families are financially struggling in terms of being able to live on the amount of money that they have because the police officer’s salary is obviously diminishing and allowances are diminishing

14 Continuing negative perception of PT / FW Female Officer All flexible working plans for officers have been reviewed & flexible working has moved backwards to the extent that officers with seven years paid service are just going, because they can’t get flexible working agreed Reduce BureaucracyAccess to HRSenior Support

15 Weakening of equality and diversity infrastructure Women in Policing Steering Group

16 Further cuts National Representative Police Support Associations Support Networks Force Level Diversity Units Dedicated Equality and Diversity Resources Diminished Capacity and remits Reduced services Police And Crime Commissioner Commitment Adequacy of Monitoring and Accountability Structures

17 Commitment Female Equality and Diversity Practitioner, Police Staff From what I have read, what I would say is that diversity, inclusion and equality doesn’t seem to be high up their [UK Government] agenda National Representative Staff Support Organisation I believe the current government has not really shown leadership on Equality and Diversity matters…I am not aware [of] a single piece of work/strategy/initiative by the Home Office which shows a real commitment

18 Thank-you To access the full report visit BAWP website:


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