We value people from all backgrounds and we are working hard to improve the diversity of our workforce.
As an organisation we embrace difference and going forward we hope to have a workforce that is truly representative of the communities we serve. Our ambition is to match the make-up of our county by having a workforce of which 2.4 per cent are from a BAME background and that accurately represents all other ethnicities, genders, faiths and sexualities.
To help achieve a more representative workforce we have recently expanded our eligibility criteria to enable us to recruit more people who speak English as their second language. Our current police officers with second language skills are integral to community engagement in towns and villages across Lincolnshire, particularly in Boston, South Holland and Lincoln. We are also proud that expanding our eligibility criteria has enabled us to focus recruitment activity in areas such as British Sign Language and Makaton speakers. This shows our determination to be reflective of all minority groups.
Strengthening our workforce diversity is also key to achieving our Distinctively Lincolnshire aims. A more diverse workforce helps us to understand our mix of different communities and supports our efforts to communicate, listen and work with them so that we can understand their needs and more effectively respond to the problems they face.
We are fully aware that there is still a lot of progress we need to make so we are seeking to become even more proactive in our attraction and recruitment, making particular effort to target the hardest to reach communities.
We are committed to making ourselves a diverse and inclusive organisation of equal opportunities where everyone feels welcome whatever their background.
Our recruitment and selection processes are based entirely on merit. All candidates wanting to join our police force have to go through the same processes, and those who perform most strongly will be offered positions working with us.
Positive action is an activity which helps employers identify and remove barriers and issues to the recruitment, retention and progression of people from under-represented groups, whilst still employing on merit. At times we will employ methods which supports underrepresented groups joining the police in order to remove any disadvantage.
We treat all applicants fairly and in accordance with current legislation. Positive action is not about giving some people favourable treatment; it's about levelling the playing field. We are looking for a talented workforce who can best serve our communities and that means looking at a wide and diverse range of applicants, identifying and overcoming barriers which prevent people from applying.
We do understand that there are many barriers that candidates may face in their journey to joining the police force. Through positive action and reasonable adjustments we aim to dismantle those barriers and open doors and opportunities to all members of our communities and in particular those who may be disadvantaged in any way.
We have a flexible working policy in place and applications for flexible working patterns are considered for all roles across the organisation – for both those joining the force and also our current workforce. We will work with individuals to ensure that wherever possible, such requests can be accommodated in order to meet the needs of our workforce and also our service to the public.
PC Jason Thomas: My journey into Lincolnshire Police
I'm Jason Thomas, I'm a response police officer based in Lincoln.
I've been an officer now for just over ten years. I wanted to join the police because I just felt that I should represent the community which I'm part of.
At that time, I didn't see many BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) officers.
The police represent the community and how can we represent the community if we're not representative in terms of diversity?
Before I joined up I was waiting for my start date and I was in a hospital waiting room just chatting with a member of the public and I explained that I was joining the police and she was just absolutely agog. She just couldn't get her head around the fact that because I was black I wished to be a police officer.
I tried to explain to her my rationale for starting but it was just 'why would you want to do that?'.
I explained that we need to represent the community which is why we need more black officers. After around five minutes, I sort of gave up. She just couldn't accept the notion that as a black man, I'd want to join the police service.
One of the things that was lacking if I'm honest within the force was some sort of support network for BAME officers and I'm pleased that the SMILE network has been set up. I'm on the committee, I'm proud to be on the committee, and literally our job simple, it's just to provide support and to assist the force with recruiting and maintaining as many offers as we can.
I think the force needs to recruit, which I'm pleased to say it's doing, so that we have BAME officers be it black, Asian or other minority ethnic officers within the force.
PC Mariusz Foks: An officer with second language skills
Hello my name is Mariusz. I'm currently serving as a police constable responsible with Lincolnshire Police at Boston.
Before I started working for the police, I was not really doing anything similar to what I'm doing now - nothing to do with policing. I worked for a transport company mainly driving lorries and big trucks around.
What made me want to join the police? Just the job that they do itself. I just found it very interesting they way they work and it was always in the back of my head.
Working for Lincolnshire Police everything that I do everyday makes me proud, putting on the uniform and working alongside great people. It all makes me makes me proud and makes me enjoy it. Being an officer with a second language, I would definitely say it makes it a little bit easier when you're coming across communities because you can freely have a chat with them and speak to them.
Sometimes people fail to report stuff because they think they are going to struggle with the language, but once they know that someone speaks their language, it makes it easier for them.
I can actually help my colleagues as well when they have got issues or struggle, and we don't have to contact an interpreter so we can save money on that as well.
For someone who's thinking about joining the police, I would definitely say do it because from my perspective it's the best decision I've ever made and is really worth it - so if you're thinking about it, do it.