On Tuesday 16th July 2013, Dyfed-Powys Police hosted the national meeting of the Disabled Police Association at its police headquarters at Llangynnor, Carmarthen.
Formally launched at the House of Lords in November 2012, the Disabled Police Association is a national body representing staff disability networks from police forces across the UK. The aims of the Association are to promote the ability of disabled, ill or injured members of staff and officers working within the police service, and to promote equality of opportunity for them.
The United Nations identifies that over one billion people, approximately 15% of the world’s population, live with some form of disability, and it is estimated that a third of employees in the UK are disabled or are close to a disabled person.
Opened by DCC Jackie Roberts, the meeting was attended by representatives of police forces throughout England and Wales as well as local members of the Dyfed-Powys Police Ability Support Network, providing an opportunity to discuss key issues affecting disabled people working in the police service as well as the impact of hate crime on disabled people living in our communities.
Speaking at the meeting, DPA Chair Rob Gurney said: “We were absolutely delighted to have been invited to hold this incredibly important meeting at Dyfed-Powys Police Headquarters. Members from across the UK were able to formulate a consolidated response to some critical elements of the Winsor review, and our report will be presented to Government.”
The meeting also saw Dyfed-Powys Police Inspector, and Chair of the Dyfed-Powys Ability Support Network, Lynn Rees appointed to the post of Vice-Chair of the DPA. Insp Rees has 20 years’ service in a variety of operational and national posts, and in 2010 was diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension, a very rare neurological illness.
Insp Rees said: “It is essential that the police service is representative of the communities that we serve, and officers and staff with personal experience of disability have an invaluable insight that we can use to build links with vulnerable people, inform service delivery and address the problem of hate crime.
“It is a privilege to be appointed as Vice-Chair of the Disabled Police Association at such a critical time, and I look forward to supporting colleagues facing the challenges posed by disability on a national basis.”