OFFICERS who feel they can be open about their sexuality are ‘more productive’ in the workplace, the winners of the Diversity in Action award toldPolice Review.
Thames Valley Gay Police Association, which now numbers more than 200 officers and members of staff, won the Police Review Diversity in Action award, with judges describing its work as ‘amazing’.
Sgt Kelly Reed, chairwoman of the association, said the team were ‘ecstatic’ at being named winners at last Thursday’sPolice ReviewGala Awards, but said homophobia was still a ‘serious issue’.
Sgt Reed added: ‘Within the police service, I know people who cannot come out. They are not themselves around their colleagues. They should be. If they are themselves in the workplace, they are more productive.’
She also said crimes against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community were under-reported because people were often not confident about coming forward.
‘We need to spend time dealing with that. It is complex. It is not as simple as saying this is our number, we are here for you. It is deeper rooted than that,’ she added.
Sgt Reed, together with Sgt Felicity Parker, collected the award from Home Secretary Theresa May (above, with the two sergeants).
The Home Secretary said: ‘We all know the police must properly represent the communities they serve if they are to maintain public confidence. So diversity cannot be an afterthought for the police. It is vital to maintaining the great British policing principle of policing by consent.’