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Message from the PFCC

As Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, I have a responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to raise awareness and promote equality and diversity. I am committed to eliminating discrimination, victimisation, harassment and other conducts prohibited under the Equality Act 2010. I am committed to ensuring Cumbria’s policing and fire services remain fair, transparent and equitable.

Equality Duty

The Public Sector Equality Duty, which came into force on 5 April 2011, places a legal duty on public authorities to ensure that unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation is removed; as well as promoting equal opportunities and encouraging good relations. The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 amended the Equality Act 20120 to make the Public Sector Equality Duty apply to PFCC’s requiring them to abide by the General Equality Duty.

The Specific Duty

The Specific Duty requires public bodies (including Cumbria Constabulary) to publish information (as least once a year) to show how they are complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty, as well as set equality objectives at least every four years. Click here to view Cumbria Constabulary’s Equality and Diversity webpage, or click to view Cumbria Fire and Rescue Services’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion webpage.

The General Equality Duty

The General Equality Duty requires public bodies, including the PFCC, whilst exercising their functions to have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and
  • foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.

What are the protected characteristics?

The protected characteristics are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender
  • gender reassignment
  • race
  • marriage and civil partnership,
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • religion or belief; and
  • sexual orientation

Equality Strategies

In 2020 the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner developed a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2021-2025. Cumbria Constabulary have a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020-25 , also Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service have a Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. These strategies set out how diversity and inclusion runs throughout the work of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Cumbria Constabulary, ensuring they represent the communities of Cumbria. Information on the demographic of Cumbria can be found on the Cumbria Observatory.

Between 2016 and 2020 the Police and Crime Commissioner was a partner in the Joint Public Sector Strategy for Cumbria. The other organisations were Cumbria Constabulary, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group. The Constabulary’s Equality and Diversity Strategy 2016-2020 sets out the commitment to fairness and equality, explaining how the Commissioner will meet his legal responsibilities. Below are annual updates on how these have been met:

Equality and Diversity Update 2018
Equality and Diversity Update 2018-19

Equality and Diversity Update 2020
Equality and Diversity Update 2022

Monitoring Equality in Cumbria Constabulary & Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

The Chief Constable is also bound by the equality duties, and has an Equality and Diversity Strategy which sets out his objectives and approach to fulfilling them. The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has a statutory responsibility for holding the Chief Constable to account for his duties in relation to equality and diversity and this is done through the Accountability Framework. The Chief Constable regularly reports to the Public Accountability Meeting on performance and other policing matters.

As part of this commitment, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) for Cumbria develops and monitors the work within Cumbria Constabulary to promote equality and eliminate discrimination. The People and Performance Committee scrutinises this, including looking at the make-up of the workforce, complaints, disciplinary proceedings and grievances.

The PFCC monitors crime and disorder levels, including the levels of hate crime.

The PFCC recognises the importance of engaging with our many and diverse communities to help develop and deliver effective policing services. Through the implementation of the Equality and Diversity Strategy, we make sure that we continue to listen to the views of communities in Cumbria, and ensure that our services are delivered to everyone with fairness, equality and integrity.

Hate Crime

Hate crimes are any crimes that are targeted at a person or a persons property because of hostility or prejudice towards the person’s:

  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or belief
  • sexual oritentation
  • transgender identity

Hate crimes can be reported to Cumbria Constabulary or at Third Party Reporting Centres. Further information can be found on the Constabulary’s website.

Equality Initiatives involving the Commissioner

Turning the Spotlight on Hate Crime Programme – is a programme commissioned by the PFCC with support from the Home Office and is working with young people and adults identified as being at risk of, or who have committed, hate crime. Individually tailored programmes support participants to understand the impact of their behaviours and develop respect for diversity. The programme is delivered in partnership of AWAZ Cumbria, OutREACH Cumbria, Carlisle Mencap, Cumbria Reducing Offending Partnership Trust, Cumbria Youth Alliance and The Heathlands Project.

Know Your Criminal Justice days – the PFCC has sponsored three events held in Carlisle, Workington and Barrow. These were aimed at helping those with learning disabilities understand what to expect if they need to report a crime, with particular emphasis on hate-crime. Delegates who attended said that they now feel more confident about what to expect if they were a victim or witness of hate crime and would be more inclined to report crime now.

Hate Crime Workshops – to support the tackling of hate crime the PFCC has funded a number of Hate Crime Workshops across the county. The workshops lead by AWAZ Cumbria together with Cumbria Constabulary, OutREACH and Cumbria Disability Network delivered hate crime awareness training and workshops for managers, front line staff, volunteers and community representatives across Cumbria.

Further information on other services provided to victims and witnesses of crime can be found on our Victims page.