Cambridgeshire police comments were wrong

I agree with Tony Pettengell (Off Message, Personnel Today, 25 September) that the comments made by chief constable Julie Spence from Cambridgeshire were wholly inappropriate.

However, I would not go as far as tarring all police forces with the same brush – many have taken heed of the McPherson Report and its recommendations. HR alone is not the answer equalities and diversity are as much about service delivery as they are employment.

Many forces, such as Surrey Police, have a diversity directorate as well as a fully functional HR department conversant with equalities issues, several independent advisory groups (IAGs), and have a diversity programme board that cuts across every rank and service area of the organisation.

Although let me declare my interests: I am the chair of the IAG for Surrey Police, so some might expect me to have a biased view, but I am also from a visible ethnic minority myself and understand first-hand Pettengell’s experiences of the police ‘doing their job’ (the only difference is that now I take my past experiences and put them to good use working with the local police force).

Equalities and diversity need to go deeper into the fabric of an organisation one service unit or one department just won’t cut it any more.

Sally-Anne Subidé
HR partner (equalities)
Guildford Borough Council

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