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Superintendents’ Association shines the light on disability in policing

The Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA) has announced that it will be furthering its work to support disabled people within the Police Service with the introduction of a key representative on their policy-making team.

The Association represents Superintendents and Chief Superintendents in 47 police forces – the 43 Home Office forces, British Transport Police, Civil Nuclear Constabulary,  Isle of Man Constabulary, and the Bermuda Police Service.

It is led by a team of national officers, supported by a National Executive Committee (NEC), which is made up of elected representatives from members across the forces, who come together to inform policy-making.

Reserved seats are held on the NEC to represent members from under-represented groups.  To date, these seats have represented the areas of gender, BAME and LGBT+.  Now, a fourth seat will be added to the NEC to represent disabled members and to help the Association’s work to look at issues surrounding disability across the entire Service.

PSA President Paul Griffiths announced this news the Association’s annual conference held last week, and explains; “A crucial part of our work is around valuing difference.  We strive to be a powerful, influential voice within policing, and an important part of this is to support and further work underway to make our Service more representative of the communities we serve.

“The reserve members on our NEC provide us with such valuable insight into the issues addressing colleagues, and provide us with a detailed, real-time snapshot of challenges and opportunities across the entire Service.  Disability is a protected characteristic that often does not receive the attention it deserves within policing and we’re keen to address this through the introduction of this new post.

“I’m delighted to say that we received unanimous support for the proposal and we will be looking to elect a member into this post in the early part of next year.”

Rob Gurney, President of the Disabled Police Association said, “I am absolutely delighted the PSA has chosen to recognise the contribution people with disabilities make to policing across England and Wales. A reserved seat for disability on the national executive committee demonstrates the on-going commitment of the PSA towards promoting a service that is truly representative of all the communities it serves.

“PSA members provide the strategic leadership that is essential in influencing and implementing change and this new representation offers an exciting opportunity for the views of people with disabilities to be considered when these critical decisions are made.

“We are grateful that the PSA have been the first national police association to show this commitment and work with us to give disability in policing the recognition and support it deserves.”