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Progress through collaboration

PSA President Paul Griffiths speaks about the power of partnership working, following a recent successful meeting of the 'valuing difference' group he convened in 2017:

In 2017, I set up a regular ‘Valuing Difference’ dial-in for representatives from staff network groups across the policing landscape, with the aim of creating a space for under-represented groups to share issues, progress and challenges.
The dial-in, which takes up just 90 minutes in the very busy diaries of our colleagues, quickly became what I believe to be one of the most useful and rewarding commitments in my schedule, and today is attended by the Home Office, College of Policing, Police Federation and nearly every staff network group within our Service.
The latest meeting took place last week, and the impact of the discussion led me to write this short piece, reflecting on the incredible commitment to change, and passion for progress clearly evident amongst our teams.
We are a very connected service, with strong national guidance and clear unified goals when it comes to our role as a public service, but we are also very good at working away in silos, duplicating work and failing to share best practice that could have far reaching impacts.
This dial-in is a clear step forward in ensuring this doesn’t happen in our work to enhance the diversity of our Service.
Each of the participants of this regular call has a responsibility or a commitment to enhancing inclusion within our Service and each is working at pace to support
colleagues, to develop strategic change or to better understand our workforce.  We heard how each organisation has supported and influenced the national policing response to Covid-19, how each is contributing to the national uplift programme, and we heard about fantastic national projects to better understand our workforce mix. Alongside this we learned of innovative examples of projects looking at operational processes that could better service our communities when it comes to diversity.
 Many of those taking part in the dial-ins are carrying out their roles for their staff associations completely voluntarily, taking on the work this entails on top of their core policing duties.  This is such a powerful reflection of the importance this has amongst our people and is something we need to look at in terms of the resourcing needed to fully deliver on the national goals we have set ourselves.  
 The push for inclusion and equality is not just about meeting corporate targets, however.  It’s about the wellbeing, the culture and the day to day lives of the people who work for us and who serve our communities so well.
 This is why we have to get this right.  We have to harness this collective power, this insight and this dedication to progress to make wholesale change.