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Avon and Somerset promotes diversity mark in bid to recruit PCSOs

Avon and Somerset is using its accreditation for a diversity mark as part of a campaign to recruit more PCSOs.
Published - 08/09/2020 By - Chris Smith

Avon and Somerset is using a recruitment campaign to sign up new Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) as an opportunity to highlight its commitment to diversity.

The campaign, aimed at signing up 70 PCSOs, makes clear that the force was the first in the country to achieve the accreditation for the National Equality Standard (NES).

Backed by the Home Office, the NES was developed by the business sector and sets clear equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) criteria. Its assessment report ranks 35 different competencies against policies and practices relating to equality, diversity and inclusion.

The force first achieved the mark in 2019 and passed its second assessment in July this year.

Its recruitment statement said that rather than seeking specific skills or experience, “Avon and Somerset Police want people from all backgrounds and with a range of professional and life experiences to apply, helping us to be truly representative of the communities we serve”.

That work has been praised by HM Inspectorate in its assessment of the force.

HM Inspector Wendy Williams said: “Senior leaders ensure that the workforce understands the importance of treating the public and each other with fairness and respect. The constabulary continues to uphold an ethical culture and promote the standards of professional behaviour it expects.”

The force has also included a testimonial from a current PCSO to give potential applicants an idea of what they can expect from the role.

Calls for forces to recruit more BAME people to improving community relations and cultural understanding have been made by the National Black Police Association.

The officer leading Avon and Somerset’s campaign said it was vital the 70 new recruits created strong relationships with communities.

Chief Superintendent Will White, Head of Neighbourhoods and Partnerships at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Our ideal candidates will enjoy helping others, be committed to engaging with and understanding the needs of people whatever their background or situation and be passionate about providing an outstanding service for everyone.

“We welcome those who share our values – caring, inclusive, courageous and learning. We are excited to be recruiting new colleagues who will bring their own unique perspective, skills and experience to an organisation which values diversity and independent thinking.”

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