West Midlands Police has been recognised as one of the top employers in the UK for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

The assessment by gay rights group, Stonewall ranks the force as 71 out of 400 businesses and charities. The accolade places West Midlands Police alongside the likes of Lloyds bank, KPMG and BP.

Created in 2005, the annual Workplace Equality Index is free to enter for any employer and is based on surveys of staff attitudes and evidence in the form of policies.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito said: “I am very proud that the force has been recognised by Stonewall. It is a great achievement that shows that West Midlands Police is an open and respectful organisation.

“West Midlands Police is an organisation where equal rights and people from all backgrounds are valued. This award demonstrates the force’s commitment to fairness and equality.”

PC Gary Stack, head of West Midlands Police’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Network, said: “Last year the force was ranked 136 out of 397 applicants. So to make the 71st slot is a phenomenal achievement.

“To be recognised by the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index is a real achievement and sends a powerful message to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans colleagues about how the force values their contribution.

“More importantly, it demonstrates to the public that the force is representative of the local population and that they should trust us and have confidence in our ability to investigate crimes such as same sex domestic abuse.”

Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Cann said: “I am pleased that West Midlands Police has been recognised as being an inclusive employer. And while there is always more to do, it is true to say that we’ve come a long way as an organisation in a relatively short period of time in terms of equalities.

“Stonewall research suggests that people perform better when they can be themselves.

“By ensuring the force’s policies and practices do not prejudice people because of who they are, we ensure our workforce feel appreciated by their colleagues and the public.”

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall chief executive, added: “West Midlands Police and all of those employers that secured a place in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2016 list performed fantastically this year. We have had more submissions than ever before and so making the list is a huge achievement.

“I’d like to thank all of those organisations for their continued efforts to ensure that their lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff feel comfortable to bring their whole selves to work and are accepted without exception.”

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