Diversity and Inclusion within South Yorkshire Police

Date published: 23 April 2018 12:40
Follow on Twitter - @TeamSYP

Follow on Twitter - @TeamSYP

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Team SYP – leading the way in Diversity & Inclusion

South Yorkshire Police is an organisation that welcomes, supports, encourages and values all staff and officers (including Special Constables, Volunteers and Cadets) from underrepresented communities.

Good policing is about contact with new ideas, and diversity in people creates diversity of thought. By increasing our own diversity, we are better able to protect and serve all our communities.

Our Force is working hard towards creating a socially diverse workforce, where everyone can be themselves, with confidence, and where everyone embraces each other’s unique individuality, backgrounds and heritage, strengths and skills. Diverse, inclusive teams solve problems better and develop a broader and more understanding Police Force.

Once you have joined South Yorkshire Police, you can access a number of staff associations and mentors, there to support you during your career. From social interaction, peer support and personal development, our staff networks and mentors, run by our own staff and officers, bring people together from all our underrepresented communities.

Regardless of your race, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religion or belief, sex, marital/partnership status, age or disability – we want to hear from you! Please email positiveaction@southyorks.pnn.police.uk for more information on support offered, in particular if you are from the BAME, LGBT+ or Disabled community.

For vacancy updates plus hints and tips on application and interview, follow us on Twitter @TeamSYP

Below are a few videos, made by some of the staff and officers who work for us and written interviews and Blogs from external role models and internal staff and officers. Scroll down to view more:

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Lord Herman Ouseley

Lord Herman Ouseley

Team SYP visited Lord Ousley at the House of Lords and talked to him about his career and the role of young Black people in policing

Herman George Ouseley, Baron Ouseley, is a British parliamentarian, who has run public authorities, including local councils and is an adviser and reviewer of public services organisations. Lord Ouseley has expertise in equality and diversity issues and is the Chairperson of several charitable organisations as well as being a Patron for dozens of organisations. He has been at the forefront of challenging institutional racism in organisations and is an advocate on behalf of individuals from disadvantaged and deprived backgrounds.

He sits in the House of Lords as a crossbencher. He was also included in the 100 Great Black Britons.

Lord Ouseley has 13 honorary degrees, including one from Sheffield Hallam University.

He was Knighted in 1997 for his services to local government and community relations, and was made a life Peer as Baron Ouseley, of Peckham and Rye in the London Borough of Southwark on 26 June 2001

Can you tell us about your career?

I do not know where I got my work ethic from, but my mum held down three jobs, just to keep our household together.

I started in Town Planning in Lambeth. I wanted to do the best I could in that role. I wanted to take on as much work as I could and did anything that was asked, often taking on work that was not assigned to me. I took my career progression systematically.

From Town Planning, I moved on to managing retirement homes. I dealt with land acquisition, buildings, architects and furnishings. I was very proud of the work I did. I also dealt with hostels for the homeless, youth projects and because of the variety of the roles I had done, I learnt a lot about people.

I never had a ‘big plan’, I just wanted to do the best I could in the role I was doing.

Back in the 90’s, Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, told me he would like me to stay on after my initial 5-year term on the Committee for Racial Equality. I did not want to as I had already given it everything I had. However, I agreed to another 2 years. Unexpectedly, I got another Royal Warrant giving me another 5-year term. However, I resigned in 1999, set up a consultancy, called Different Realities partnership, and ran that for 5 years. During this time, a fellow peer contacted me and asked me to give a talk at Goldman Sachs. Following that talk, Goldman Sachs asked me to come in and help with increasing their diversity. I asked why, as they were one of the biggest and most profitable investment banks in the world. They could not tell me why they wanted to increase diversity so I refused. Organisations must always know why they need to increase diversity; it is not a tick box exercise.

You are Chairman of Kick it Out, can you tell us more about it?

Kick it Out is an enabling organisation. I started Kick it Out because the people who needed to recognise there was a problem with racism in football, did not do so and just hoped that, in time, racism would resolve itself.  I knew I had to get people to come out of their comfort zone and raise the issue of racism in football. It was not easy; we had to negotiate with decision makers and politicians to get things started. Fans had to be screened off from one another and discouraged from shouting out. At a grass roots level, parents and others were discouraged from shouting at the referee. Football must take the credit for its successes and failures.

Its other people making decisions all the time and I recognise that we need to keep pushing on.

For a long time there were no go areas in the dressing rooms and training grounds. The reality is we can’t change a culture if we can’t get access to these areas. Training and discipline are so important. Kick it Out have presented at league level and to the England team. Through education, eyes will be opened to inclusion.

This generation is better than the one before the next will be even better, but it’s all been based on the culture at that time.

So organisations need to change from within?

Yes. In addition, community leaders and role models need to embrace the idea of change and the idea of a diversity and respect and they can spread the word.

The top leaders in the boardroom do not own diversity; it needs to be owned by everyone.

In football, people and companies from all over the world own clubs now.

It is important for clubs whose fans have been discriminatory, to hold their hands up and deal with the issue straight away. John Terry is not a racist, he made racist comments but did not hold his hands up straight away, and instead he came up with three different excuses. Therefore, it is important to get everyone to accept responsibility. Even in policing, it is important to admit to mistakes, learn from them, and make changes.

What would you say to anyone from the Black community, who was thinking about joining the police?

The police service is a very important part of our society. The police are there to protect all our citizens. Over a long period, racism has been widely institutionalised, not just in policing but also in society. We all need to recognise that we all need protecting and that the police service is an honourable service.  We can only make it better by participation. Do not stand on the side lines and criticise, join and find a role for yourself and make a difference. We live in a very diverse culture and it needs to be inclusive. It is so important to make sure people feel they are a special somebody and to inspire them. People need to understand the value of public service and cohesion, by getting people together to break down the walls of resistance.

In the 70’s and 80’s many police officers had never mixed with diverse communities and did not understand them. People now have a better understanding, but the only way to achieve inclusion is by working alongside people from diverse communities.

Positive messages about policing need to come from communities, from families. People also need to know why they want to join the police.

It is important to promote the values of inclusion, not just for policing but for society as a whole.

Equality & Diversity in South Yorkshire Police

The Equality Unit leads on the strategic management of equality, diversity and human rights for South Yorkshire Police. Set within the HR Career Services department, its range of focus takes in the service provided to the public as well as the organisation’s relationship with its workforce.


Core areas of activity for the Equality Unit include:

  • Driving the SYP Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Strategy. Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Strategy 
  • Developing and driving the South Yorkshire Police Equality Objectives
  • Gathering, publication and monitoring of SYP Equality data. South Yorkshire Police work force monitoring reports
  • Helping to fulfil the community engagement commitment of both the Force and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner with different sections of the South Yorkshire public
  • Fostering the widest use of good practice like Positive Action where under-representation occurs and Equality Analysis in the management of change
  • The continuing professional development of a broad range of roles in equality, diversity and human rights responsibilities