Category Archives: News

Disability in Policing conference marks DPA’s 10th Anniversary

To celebrate our 10th Anniversary this year, the Disabled Police Association, in conjunction with the NPCC will be holding our Disability in Policing National Conference in Coventry on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th September 2022.

Guest speakers include Rosie Cooper MP, Rhian Davies from Disability Wales, Dame Lynne Owens (ex Head of the NCA), Alexis Poole (NPCC Lead for Neurodiversity) and our very own President, Simon Nelson, as well others with a personal knowledge of different conditions.

The theme ‘Conversations with Confidence’ supports our ongoing work with police forces and stakeholders to ensure the fair treatment and inclusion for disabled, injured officers and staff who have long-term conditions. Our Association works particularly hard to ensure that it is the ability of disabled officers and staff which is recognised, rather than perceived limitations, supporting confidence to talk about disability without fear of saying the wrong thing.

The event aims to provide support and advice to Forces on how networks can assist, showcase good practice in relation to supporting officers and staff with disabilities, and explore the barriers in relation to self-declaration and intersectionality. Our committee members will also be on hand to take part in Q&A’s and drop-in sessions.

The conference is open to all police officers, staff, volunteers and CJS staff. To book a place, visit the website, contact your Force’s Disability Support Network, or contact us directly (using the General option and quoting your work email address). ∎

Employment tribunal rules long COVID is a disability

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind, an employment tribunal has ruled that long COVID (also known as post-COVID syndrome) meets the criteria for a disability

In a landmark ruling, a caretaker working for a charity successfully proved that coronavirus left him with “substantial and long-term” side effects affecting his ability to work.

Terence Burke first contracted COVID-19 in November 2020 and, despite initially having mild symptoms, lost the ability to undertake even simple household tasks and maintain concentration. Mr Burke successfully fought a disability discrimination case against his former employer, following his dismissal after being too exhausted to return to work for nine months.

Tribunal Judge James Young found that the condition substantially impacted on Mr Burke’s daily life, and commented: “I consider that the relevant tests are met to meet the definition of disability.”

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics estimates that two million people in the UK live with long COVID.

Links for further reading:

National Inclusion Survey reveals disabled staff concerns

Analysis of a survey of more than 34,000 police officers and staff found a need to address concerns about career progression and derogatory comments around disability and other protected characteristics, as well as evidence of inclusive teams and endorsement of efforts to tackle bias.

The National Inclusion Survey was conducted in November 2019, providing the first national employee-led assessment of workplace culture in policing in England and Wales. The survey, covering 43 police forces, was analysed by the Policing Research Unit at Durham University.

The survey indicated that when individuals feel able to be their ‘true’ selves without suffering adverse consequences, and when they feel that they are genuinely involved in decision-making in their work teams, they have higher job satisfaction, professional commitment, and improved wellbeing.

Key findings indicating the need for further work included:

  • 41% of disabled people experienced derogatory comments in the workplace about their identity
  • 38% of police officers who identified as having a disability felt that this had a negative effect on their career opportunities
  • 29% police officers and 25% of police staff said they have been regularly treated in a condescending manner, interrupted, put down or not listened to at work. Respondents from minority groups reported this behaviour at higher rate than the average.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, Chief Constable Carl Foulkes welcomed participation in the survey, and committed to supporting under-represented groups in career development. On the findings of widespread incivility, he commented: “Our aim is zero-tolerance for derogatory and demeaning behaviour that staff told us causes them distress, anxiety or humiliation.”

Click on the links to go to a summary of the survey findings, or to view a PDF of the analysis by Durham University. ∎