Re-establis regional equalities officers

It has been raised that since Police Scotland merged the regional forces, regional equalities officers have been replaced by single equality portfolio constables responsible for preventative work on crime against people with protected characteristics. There has been some high quality, preventative partnership work between, for example, the constable with the disability portfolio and DPOs on disability hate crime. But disabled people, and people from many other equalities groups, feel they no longer have a contact point to raise/ work on local issues affecting them.

We would therefore like to see the re-establishment of regional equalities officers who are available to work with community equalities groups.


Why the contribution is important

Citizens with protected characteristics need to feel safe in the whole of Scotland, and there is perception among some disabled people that we have engaged with that the loss of regional equalities officers has not been adequately recouped by single portfolio constables responsible for the whole of Scotland. Some disabled people have reported feeling less protected in their local area and this chimes with recent statistics that show that disabled people are less confident in Police Scotland than other groups. According to the recent ‘Is Scotland Fairer?’ Report by the EHRC (available here), the statistics drawn from analysis of the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey  show that:

•       Confidence that the [criminal justice] system provides an appropriately high standard of service for victims of crime is lower among older and disabled people than among other groups

•       Confidence that the [criminal justice] system serves all communities equally and fairly is also lower among older and disabled people  

We are also concerned about the level of leadership that has been assigned to public equality issues. The position of single portfolio constables, while welcome as an identifiable person to work with on national issues, is unlikely to have adequate influence above their position (e.g. on the sergeants above them in the police hierarchy with partial responsibility for equalities).


by Inclusion_Scotland on February 04, 2016 at 02:03PM

Current Rating

Average score : 0.0
Based on : 0 votes