Police support staff debate racism

Racism in the police service will be debated by delegates at public-sector union Unison’s seminar for police support staff this weekend in Cardiff.

Other issues on the agenda include consultation, human rights, the Private Finance Initiative, pensions, health and safety, stress and bullying.

Explaining the problems facing police support staff, Unison national officer for police staff Ben Priestley said, “There is still some way to go to break down the old barriers and prejudices over the status of police support staff. Yet our members work with the day-to-day reality that old demarcation lines are being increasingly blurred as they take on traditional police work.

“In addition, the police sector has only recently been subject to the Health and Safety at Work Act and much work needs to be done on carrying out risk assessments and tackling problems such as stress and bullying.”

Another concern for police support staff, said Priestley, is the impact of private finance initiatives which result in staff being transferred to private companies

Speakers at the seminar will include president of the Association of Chief Police Officers Tony Burden, director of police services and volume crime at the Home office Jim Daniell and Bevan Powell of the National Black Police Association.

By Lisa Bratby

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