In response to the judgement announced today by Mr Justice Julian Knowles in the Judicial Review of Humberside Police and the College of Policing, David Munro, PCC for Surrey and APCC Lead on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights (EDHR) and Hardyal Dhindsa, PCC for Derbyshire and the APCC Deputy Lead on EDHR, made the following statement:
“Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are committed to the Equality Act, which protects the rights of individuals and advances equality of opportunity for all. Both sex and gender reassignment are recognised as ‘protected characteristics’ under the Act.
“PCCs are statutorily obliged to hold the Chief Constable (CC) in their area to account for meeting their obligations under the Act, known as the Public Sector Equality Duty. This duty also applies to PCCs in terms of the work of their offices. Obligations under the Act include protecting individuals from discrimination, harassment and victimisation based on protected characteristics.
“We acknowledge the judgement made today by Mr Justice Knowles, and will consider what impact this may have on policing. However, as commissioners for services for victims of crime locally we encourage victims to come forward to report both hate crimes and incidents; incidents that in isolation do not meet the threshold for criminality can still cause extreme distress, and it’s vital that victims are able to access any support they may need. Additionally, non-crime hate incidents should never be dismissed, as they may be the precursor to more serious or escalating criminal offending.
“Last year, the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) launched the Strategy on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, which included workstreams on creating an inclusive culture within forces and ensuring that the Police Service is able to engage and inspire confidence amongst all the communities they serve. PCCs are committed to supporting CCs to deliver the Strategy, enabling us to meet our obligations under the Equality Act to ensure that nobody faces discrimination.”