Police stand up – and stand out – for equality
LGBT Network chairman PC Gary
Stack with PCC David Jamieson and LGBT Network comittee member
One hundred West Midlands Police officers and staff a
month are putting their name to a scheme to increase
Just eight weeks after Chief Constable Dave
Thompson and other members of the Executive
team signed up to the Allies initiative, membership
has surged to more than 500.
Allies are individuals who do not identify as LGBT but who
believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people should
experience full equality in the workplace.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: "Allies
are role models who create truly inclusive workplaces and send a
strong message to the wider community. Some of the world's most
successful organisations have introduced similar schemes.
"To increase their visibility I have funded the purchase of
lanyards in the colours of the rainbow - the worldwide symbol of
"They are a powerful statement about who we are as an
organisation and as people who value diversity. It is a symbol
which I myself wear every day and one which I would encourage
others to adopt."
Allies is cost free to the force and those who sign-up to the
scheme receive similar benefits as members of the LGBT Network.
Personal details are held on a secure database not connected to
force systems. Allies membership is not mandatory and is in
addition to the force's legal and moral equalities duties.
The scheme is backed by the gay rights
group Stonewall and managed by the force's LGBT
Chairman of the group, PC Gary Stack, said: "I'm really very
grateful to Mr Jamieson for his donation which we have used to buy
900 lanyards for Allies from a local business.
"Our ambition is to have 75 per cent of the entire workforce
sign-up. And while we have a long way to go to reach that figure,
500 is a significant milestone particularly as we already have 390
regular Network members."
West Midlands Police is ranked at 71 out of 400 top UK
businesses in terms of LGBT rights.
Formed in 2000 West Midlands Police's LGBT Network is the
largest of its kind in the country.
The group provide members with access to mentoring, exclusive
taster sessions in departments looking to boost the number of LGBT
people within their teams, regular networking opportunities,
support during HR or PSD proceedings, and