Category Archives: Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: Disabled Police Association hosts ‘world-wide first’ annual conference

The Disabled Police Association (DPA) held its inaugural annual conference on 5th June 2019, an international first in policing.

Formed in July 2012, the Association welcomed members of the police family from across the country who live with or care for loved ones with disabilities.

The event, with the theme ‘Enable rather than Disable’, was held at The Fielder Centre in Hatfield and sponsored by Police Mutual and Police Care UK.

It was also supported by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), Hertfordshire Constabulary Chief Constable Charlie Hall, and Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd.

DPA president Dr Robert Gurney said: “The aim of the event was to bring together those who work within policing and live with disabilities to provide support and advice, share good practice in relation to supporting officers and staff with disabilities, and explore some of the barriers that they face at work”.

DPA President Dr Robert Gurney

The DPA is a national body that represents disability support networks within police forces across the UK. Its main aim is to promote equality of opportunity for people with disabilities or carers who work or volunteer within the wider policing family.

The event’s guest speakers were Permanent Secretary at the Home Office Sir Philip Rutnam, who spoke about his role as the Civil Service Disability Champion, and CEO of Police Care UK Gill Scott-Moore, who spoke to guests about the work of the charity in supporting ill and injured people.

There were also contributions from the NPCC Lead for Disability, Deputy Chief Constable Janette McCormick QPM; Hertfordshire Constabulary Assistant Chief Constable Nathan Briant; DPA Vice-President Simon Nelson from Sussex Police; and Vice-President of the Police Superintendents’ Association Ian Wylie.

Dr Gurney said: “The conference provided some really positive learning outcomes and showed the valuable contribution that those with disabilities make to policing across the nation. We are delighted that so many people with disabilities were able to attend and could highlight their concerns and the challenges that they face. The conference has provided an incredibly valuable insight into disability in today’s police service”. ∎

A short film on disability in policing, commissioned by the DPA and shown at the conference

Police Care UK is a charity that provides practical, emotional and financial support, and confidential and impartial advice for serving and former police officers, staff and volunteers who suffer harm as a result of their policing role

Police Mutual offers financial services to serving or retired police officers, staff and their families

For more information get in touch with us by selecting the Media & Comms option on the Contact page

PRESS RELEASE: Hertfordshire Constabulary hosts Disabled Police Association’s AGM

Hertfordshire Constabulary hosted the Disabled Police Association’s Annual General Meeting at Force Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire on the 28th February 2018. It is the first time that the Constabulary has hosted a meeting of the national association, which was facilitated by the force’s own Disability and Carers Network (HDCN).

The Disabled Police Association is the national body representing disability support networks from police forces across the UK. It aims to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people working within the extended police family.

Guests were welcomed by Hertfordshire’s disability champion Superintendent Dean Patient, and the conference was formally opened by Chief Constable Charlie Hall. He said: “I am proud that Hertfordshire Constabulary has, for the first time, hosted the Disabled Police Association’s annual conference.

“Since joining the Force as Chief Constable in 2016, I have made it clear that supporting people who face daily challenges through disability should be a priority within the Force. Our workforce is our greatest asset and work to ensure that the Constabulary, and indeed, police forces up and down the country understand the issues that face those with disabilities or caring commitments, so that we can support them to give their best, is extremely important.

“It was a pleasure to formally open the conference and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank HDCN Chair Rob Gurney and his colleagues for making it possible for us to host the conference.”

Chief Constable Charlie Hall opening the Disabled Police Association annual meeting

The conference included a number of guest speakers including Vice-Chair of the Police Federation Che Donald, Kate Nash from Purple Space – a networking hub for disabled employees – and Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd. Remote captioning technology was used throughout the day to ensure the speeches were accessible for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Mr. Gurney, who is seconded from the Force as President of the DPA, said: “It was a great honour to hold the annual meeting of the Disabled Police Association in Hertfordshire, especially during my tenure as President. Despite the snow, many representatives from Forces right across the UK attended and were able to celebrate the positive contribution that disabled people are making towards policing.

“We are delighted to have enhanced the expertise of the national executive committee following the election of a number of new members who bring experience and enthusiasm to our work. This year heralds the start of improved support to policing from our association with increased social media coverage and staffing resilience.

“The annual meeting provided an outstanding opportunity for the Disabled Police Association to outline its future support to the police service in delivering the objectives set out by the Government’s white paper entitled Improving Lives: The Future of Work, Health and Disability.

“We were especially grateful to Chief Constable Charlie Hall and PCC David Lloyd for taking the time to highlight their desire for a police service that is representative of the communities that it serves and in particular the work of the disability networks both locally and nationally.”

David Lloyd, who is also Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, closed the conference. He said: “I was very pleased to see Hertfordshire Constabulary hosting such an important event. The theme of a lot of discussion during the day was a collaborated approach to achieving best practice.

“We heard a lot about the significant progress being made across policing, especially recognition that disability presents itself in many ways, and the work being done around the mental health of our staff and officers.

“I know the Constabulary takes this work very seriously and have discussed our approach with the force’s disability champion. I look forward to even more positive action in the future.” ∎

PRESS RELEASE: International Day of People with Disability

Sunday 3rd December 2017 is the annual celebration of the International Day of People with Disability (IPDP), started 25 years ago by the United Nations General Assembly. The day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of disabled staff. It also seeks to increase awareness of the benefits of the integration of disabled people in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

This year the theme focuses on ‘transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all’ and we are being encouraged to notice the central importance of resilience. As a police support network, the Disabled Police Association is encouraging our local disability networks to strengthen the role of disabled people as agents of change.

As members of UK police forces, we live in times of great challenge, both economically and politically. It is sometimes difficult to be constant in your belief that it is possible to reach a tipping point in the recognition of talents of disabled people. It takes great strength and courage to believe disabled people, whether they are in work, or not, can transcend protracted periods of welfare reform, economic austerity and political uncertainty.

But as networks, we can! One of the ways we can encourage our police forces to do this is by learning directly from disabled people and celebrating and investing in our disability networks, and building our communities in the UK and across the globe.

The Disabled Police Association are encouraging all our local networks to mark this celebration to raise awareness of disability. Purple Space are championing Purple Light Up to celebrate the economic and leadership contribution of disabled employees.

Some facts about the economic contribution of disabled employees (Labour Force Survey 2016/Scope Economic Research):

  • Over 3 million people who identify as being disabled are in work: they are today’s senior managers or the managers of the future
  • Disabled employees contribute over £16.02 billion per annum in tax
  • 3.6% of businesses have one or more disabled owners, representing roughly 10,700 companies employing 78,000 people
  • 6.6 million people with a disability or health impairment are in work, making a huge wealth of skilled and committed disabled people in the UK who make a vital contribution to the economy
  • A 5% point increase in the disability employment rate would lead to an increase in GDP of £23bn by 2030

“Police Forces and their Disability Support Networks across the UK are looking forward to shining a purple light on disability on the 3rd December. A variety of awareness raising activities are planned with a focus on joining our private sector partners in celebrating the value of staff networks for disabled people.”

Rob Gurney
President, Disabled Police Association