Thames Valley Police refreshes HeForShe commitments alongside other UK police forces

Thames Valley Police (TVP) came together with forces from across the UK as part of the international gender equality campaign – HeForShe.

During the past 12 months women have made up over 45% of TVP’s new student officers, so with more women choosing a policing career, work to develop, support and enable them is important.

For the past five years, all UK forces have been signed up to the UN Women’s initiative and are working together to solve gender inequalities found within policing and to work to combat domestic abuse and sexual abuse in society.

The HeForShe movement seeks to engage men, and people of all genders, to stand in solidarity with women to create a united force for gender equality.

The event at the Kia Oval Conference Centre, Kennington in London - hosted by the National Crime Agency (NCA) - was held to share good practice and refresh the UK forces’ HeForShe commitments, in recognition of the progress made so far.

It also provided updates on three new commitments, agreed with the UN.

The first is to address the gender imbalances in middle management teams within police forces, in particular the ranks of Sergeants and Inspectors.

The second is to address and remove the sexism and misogyny, where it exists, in police culture.

And finally, support the annual reporting of gender equality information.

North Wales Police Chief Constable, Carl Foulkes, HeForShe Policing UK Lead, said over the past five years, all forces have worked hard to make progress towards gender equality.

He said: “A strong network of HeForShe allies has been created and three annual reports have been published so far, capturing the progress being made to solve gender inequalities found within policing.

“Over the past five years, great steps have been taken to increase the number of women joining as police officers, and in addition to this, we have seen growth in representation of women in senior roles.

“However, it is important that we do not lose focus. We need to ensure that the increased number of women who have joined have the right development opportunities to address the gap of women who are under-represented within middle and senior management posts.

“This is an exciting time for us to build on the progress made so far and accelerate change towards gender equality.”

Chief Inspector Stewart Codling attended for Thames Valley Police and said:

“I was really proud to attend the 2022 HeForShe National Commitment Event which resulted in the renewal by all UK forces to take action to improve Gender Equality within policing.

Thames Valley Police has been at the forefront of the campaign, using rolling 6 monthly action plans to conduct targeted activity in key areas, specifically increasing the number of allies across the force, and supporting and challenging male behaviours. We hosted our first ‘An audience with…’ session last month where Kelly Lindsey challenged us to understand our privileges and use them positively, to shout louder about the issue and be genuine and credible. We continue with renewed vigour looking at those Sergeant and Inspector ranks to support the force in identifying and eradicating any blockages to our talented female workforce”

During the event, the NCA also made its own commitment to HeForShe, and joined the UK policing network working towards gender equality.

Since its launch by UN Women in 2014, the HeForShe movement has engaged millions of men from around the world, including Heads of State, CEOs and global leaders in advancing women’s rights.