Posted on Monday 26th September

Cheshire Constabulary has been shortlisted for a national award for its ground breaking work in attracting more diverse recruits to policing.

Cheshire’s Insight Programme is designed to ensure that the force can attract talent from across all of Cheshire’s communities, including from black and minority communities, and the gay and lesbian community, and was developed in response to the force’s own concerns that it had too few black and minority officers.

The scheme was launched in February this year, and gives potential recruits from communities covered by the Equality Act an insight into the Constabulary and its recruitment processes. By opening up the force, Cheshire has already more than doubled its number of BME applicants, and recruited a number of new officers from across Cheshire’s communities.

The innovative programme has already won accolades, having being shortlisted as a finalist in this year’s Business in the Community race equality awards.

Now The Guardian has announced that the Constabulary has been shortlisted for its Public Service of the Year awards. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 29 November, in London.

Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “It’s a core feature of British policing that we ‘police by consent’ – and to do this our officers must reflect the communities we serve. That’s why I am delighted to see the impact this programme is having in attracting new talent who will soon be policing our neighbourhoods

“I’ve been desperately keen to see the Insight Programme succeed in attracting able, talented people from across all of our communities, and I welcome the recognition it is receiving nationally from both the business community and national media.”

Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “Ensuring that the Constabulary has a diverse and inclusive police service for Cheshire is something I feel passionately about and so, like the Chief Constable, I am pleased to see the work of the Insight programme beginning to have a positive impact.

“It’s also very pleasing to see that the programme is getting recognition on a national level, highlighting the commitment to a diverse workforce for our police service.”