The drive to increase the diversity of Derbyshire's Constabulary's workforce has been given a boost by the County's Police and Crime Commissioner it has been revealed.
PCC Hardyal Dhindsa has announced the appointment of a diversity Tsar to his own office.
Dr Sonya Robotham, the co-founder of Spectrum Derby, has joined the Commissioner's team on a part-time basis to strengthen the work to ensure the diversity of the Constabulary's workforce. The Commissioner announced his intention to achieve a truly representative workforce in his Police and Crime Plan.
Dr Robotham has been appointed on secondment, for an initial period of five months. Her key objective is to develop a greater understanding of potential barriers to joining the police and increasing engagement with those whose voices may historically not have been heard.
The project will initially look at barriers facing BAME communities, and in particular those from Black communities, but it is intended that where possible lessons learned should be applied to others who are currently under-represented within the Derbyshire Constabulary policing family.
Welcoming Dr Robotham to his team, Hardyal Dhindsa said: "Increasing diversity within the Constabulary has been a strategic priority within my Police and Crime Plan for the past five years. Whilst we have made some progress this is a difficult issue to crack and it is clear that there is still work to be done.
"Events last year in America have shown the importance of ensuring good relation between the police and the communities they serve. A part of this is ensuring that those working for the police are representative of those communities.
Sonya is coming to us with a wealth of experience in both Human Rights work and community development within Derby. Her knowledge and contacts will help us get into communities who we have had less luck in reaching and will help us understand what the barriers are that prevent members of Derbyshire's diverse communities from aspiring to work within policing."
Dr Robotham said: "It is heartening to see the PCC delivering on his strategic priority and I am both personally and professionally motivated to being on board to assist with this important work. I am committed to contributing to the efforts to increase diversity within Derbyshire Constabulary, addressing community-policing barriers, misconceptions and tensions and to moving the agenda forward in a positive way."