Police Federation conference marred by diversity row

The police service’s gay, black, female and disabled support associations boycotted the diversity debate at the Police Federation’s annual conference last week.

Representatives from the Gay Police Association, the National Black Police Association, the British Association of Women in Policing and the National Disabled Police Association chose not to participate after being invited to sit in a “special front row” rather than on the panel.

Ray Powell, president of the NBPA, told Police Review: “Considering they were discussing issues that will impact on the very people we represent as groups, we should be on the platform.”

Paul Cahill, chairman of the GPA, added: “We feel we were invited to attend on false pretences and our role was one of subservience.”

Jan Berry, chairman of the Police Federation, said she was “extremely disappointed” the groups chose not to take part.

“I can assure all parties there was never any intention to sideline their valuable contribution,” she added.

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