Under the Equality Act 2010, public authorities have a specific duty to publish their equality objectives and a general duty to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
- Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
The general duty aims to embed equality considerations into the day-to-day work of public authorities so that they tackle discrimination and inequality and contribute to making society fairer.
The specific duty regulations require public bodies to:
- Publish equality objectives every four years.
- Publish information annually to demonstrate their compliance with the general Equality Duty.
- Publish information relating to their employees (for bodies with 150 or more staff) and others affected by their policies and practices (such as service users).
Suffolk Police has three over-arching equality objectives which support the policing priorities as laid out in the Police Authority Three-Year Plan and reflect the three themes in the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Strategy.
Suffolk Police’s equality objectives are:
- To check and monitor our performance for areas that could lead to discrimination particularly stop and search.
- To increase the trust and confidence of all our communities in policing.
- To increase the diversity of the police family in Suffolk to reflect the communities we serve
The equality objectives will form key elements in action plans for each of the protected characteristics, which are:
- Gender reassignment
- Race – which includes ethnic or national origins, colour or nationality
- Religion and belief – which includes lack of belief
- Sexual orientation
Actions regarding the protected characteristic of pregnancy and maternity and marriage and civil partnership, will be included in both sexual orientation and sex.
The action plans will be developed by the diversity champions and the Diversity Unit in consultation with community groups, and will document the actions needed for us to achieve our equality objectives.
Monitoring progress against the action plans will be achieved at the Diversity Programme Board, which includes representation from community groups, where the Diversity Manager and Diversity Champions will report and provide a written update at six-monthly intervals.
Chairs of local diversity boards will be also required to report to the Diversity Programme Board against their own action plans once every 12 months.
An update and progress paper is provided to Suffolk Police Authority on an annual basis.