Founded in 1974, Cumbria Constabulary covers an area of 2,613 square miles. The county has a population of under half a million, made up of a range of diverse communities.
Cumbria is predominately a rural county, with millions visiting the county every year.
The Constabulary is split into three divisions, North, South and West, with the forces Headquarters based in Penrith.
The constabularies mission is to deliver an outstanding service to Keep Cumbria safe, with our values being to serve with pride, act with professionalism and integrity, focus on what’s important and ethical and inclusive.
More information on the constabulary can be found at www.Cumbria.police.uk.
MICHELLE SKEER QPM
CHIEF CONSTABLE CUMBRIA
In Cumbria, we recognise that being a representative workforce is vital to ensure we can legitimately serve the needs of everyone in our county. Our communities and our visitors must have confidence in us and know that we will value difference and provide the best service to victims, witnesses and the most vulnerable
Cumbria Constabulary values its people, and the workplace must be one where we can all thrive regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy, or maternity. I want to ensure that everyone feels supported, respected, engaged, and that all individuals have a voice. I also want to make sure that we can develop skill and nurture talent which allows us to grow and innovate to meet the diverse and complex challenges of modern policing.
We value our partners and we will work together to identify disparity of services, to share information and to celebrate difference to ensure equality across our public services.
Our commitment is to evolve and to grow. We need to show that diversity and inclusion is business as usual and that everything we do reflects a culture where our officers and staff can feel empowered to create, innovate, achieve and enrich our organisation, therefore being truly representative of those we serve.
Chief Inspector Jon Sherlock (Chair of our Disability Support Group)
Cumbria Constabulary values it’s people, I can say this from both personal experience and the individuals I’m involved with. I chair the Constabulary Disability Support Group, we have 42 members who’s experience is varied (Autistic, Dyslexic, Carers, the lived experience is huge). This group not only supports each other but now links in to officers and staff who share the same difficulties, the buddy scheme is in it’s infancy, but the lived experience element is critical to the individual who is craving specific support.
From my own experience I can vouch for the Constabularies Inclusivity, I am an amputee, I lost my right arm due to being knocked down by a stolen motor vehicle in 2007. From the very first day to now the Constabulary have supported me, what they have done well is provide the support when I’ve needed it, but also not given me special treatment, I have gained the rank of Chief Inspector through merit and merit alone.
The biggest compliment I can pay my organisation is that they have never placed any barriers in my way when seeking development and progression. I am a Silver Public Order Commander, Tactical Firearms Commander and Head of Criminal Justice, my organisation sees past disability, their interest is ability, no matter what your ethnic background, disability or sexual orientation, if you can do the job, you’ll be supported to achieve it.
My profile picture is me 20 years ago, I still have that sense of pride in the uniform I wear, my organisation and keeping people safe in my home county still gives me that sense of pride and smile (most days)!
PC Adrian Tyson (Chair of Cumbria Pride)
I’ve worked for Cumbria Constabulary for 22 years, during this time I’ve seen the force grow and develop becoming and all-inclusive workplace. Being able to be my authentic self has led to me being appointed as the chair of the Cumbria Police Pride Network. We currently have 23 members including police officers from various ranks, police staff, who are part of the LGBT+ community and allies, the network offers support to all members, their friends and families and the wider community.
When I joined I wasn’t really aware there were other LGBT+ officers and staff within the organisation, the network was quite limited, I wasn’t able to be myself, now we have an open network and employees are able to feel confident and safe in the workplace. A buddy system has recently been introduced which is another essential form of support, there’s no better way of supporting a person than having lived experiences both in the workplace and personal life, giving someone the confidence to be their true selves. Speaking to fellow colleagues about my journey, giving an open and honest account of the ups and downs faced both in my career and personal life has been beneficial to the organisation, people have a better understanding of others challenges. My force allows me to open and supportive in doing this.
There are officers and staff who do question, struggle with their sexual orientation, having and employer who supports their staff and the network means those employees can feel included, listened to and confident they won’t be discriminated against and can be their true authentic selves. This will also be represented to the communities we serve from ethnic background, sexual orientation or disability.
Helping just one person feel wanted, safe, understood is a job well done and this is why I am proud to work for Cumbria Constabulary as they do all of the above. The photo is taken from Manchester pride in 2019, the photo says it all for me.
Sgt Siraaz Patel (chair of the Cumbria Constabulary Multicultural Police Association)
I joined Cumbria Constabulary 18 years ago and the organisation looked and felt very different back then. I was in a minority of a handful of police officers who originated from Minority Ethnic backgrounds and looked different. With that difference came the challenges of blending into the organisation and ‘fitting in’ with the rest of my colleagues and holding the same values as others around me whilst pressing pause on my own values.
I’m pleased to say that nearly 2 decades on, things look and feel very different again but this time for all the right reasons! I am the current Chairperson of the multicultural police association (CCMPA) and I host a membership of around 30 people who are police officers and staff and that number is growing. The CCMPA is a support network which is available to all regardless of Race or Ethnicity and the aim is to support colleagues from minority ethnic backgrounds and also support the organisation moving forward to ensure that it continues to remain an inclusive place. I have really noted a shift in emphasis through the recruitment process which is attracting a delivering more diversity through its activities with underrepresented groups. I am thrilled with this approach because it is changing the composition of the force and is bringing with it diversity of thought. I am now in a position where I can have arduous conversations with the senior leadership team who really listen and are determined to ensure they deliver an environment which allows people to be their authentic selves and bring the ‘full person to work’. I am now able to place my prayer mat down in the offices when it comes to practicing my faith because no one bats an eye lid and it doesn’t feel out of place. The Constabulary has also invested heavily in its retention and development of underrepresented staff through the implementation of its buddy and bespoke CPD programmes which adds value to those officers and staff who ordinarily would have sought to fit in and blend into the backgrounds. I believe that this has been that catalyst for the environment me and my members find ourselves in today where we are ‘not just surviving…… we are thriving!’