AN ACTION packed and varied training programme – including highlighting the Best of British policing – is on the cards for the International Association of Women Police conference coming up this summer in Cardiff.
According to the organisers the event, which runs from 23-27 August, will offer around 1,000 delegates from across the globe an exciting and educational break in South Wales. It will also mark 100 years of women in policing in the United Kingdom.
One of the conference co-ordinators is Sgt Donna Clutterbuck, of South Wales Police. She told Grapevine that the “big selling point of the conference is the structure of our training programme”.
She added: “We’ve got the ‘Best of British Policing’, because no one polices like the British police do in relation to public order.
“We do everything without firearms on a daily basis and when we go to the other countries they still can’t believe we police without firearms. They can’t even comprehend it.
“We’ve also got the softer skills, things like coaching and mentoring, leadership skills, Neuro-Linguistic Programming [NLP]. They’re the norm in our force, we hold NLP sessions within our force area because a lot of us are trained.
“We’ve got some NLP Masters at the conference who will be doing one-on-one sessions with people if they need them, or group sessions. It’s great for confidence building, whether people have got issues at work, or issues with weight or with dedication to exercise.
“It can be really small things which can be really big things for people, to some big issues. NLP is a brilliant way of helping you to deal with things like this.”
There will also be expert sessions across the conference. Donna added: “We’ve got [sessions on] money laundering, sex trafficking is a massive issue at the moment, and child sexual exploitation.
“We’ve got a lot of speakers who have had personal experience of things, we’ve got groups coming in that work with victims of domestic violence and domestic violence victims giving their side of the story.”
Donna has worked with Insp Nicky Flower and Insp Melanie Knight on organising the conference in the force. They have worked closely with Julia Jaeger, regional representative for the IAWP for the UK and Europe, and also with the British Association for Women in Policing’s Carolyn Williamson.
THE SERVICE has a long way to go in supporting officers taking maternity and paternity leave, policing parents have said.
Officers have described lack of support from managers and forces around the country when they need time off to start a family.
Jayne Monkhouse, policing equality advisor, said: “The problems I hear about are about forces reorganising without taking women on maternity leave into account and women being moved out of their role and being put on restrictive detail as soon as they announce they are pregnant without a proper risk assessment.
“I think that sometimes managers do not know how to deal with people and they either become overbearing and paternalistic or they go the other way and ignore it.
“I don’t think managers know what people are entitled to. Forces don’t train people on how to deal with maternity policies.”
One officer from a northeast force, whose identity has been protected, explained: “I am currently on maternity leave and I have had no contact asking if I am okay or about my return to work.
“I wasn’t supported properly during my pregnancy and don’t expect any support from the job while I am on maternity leave or when I return to work.”
Another PC from a southeast force said: “Both my husband and I are police officers. When we had our first child, I found that my managers were clueless about the maternity policy. I had no support and no contact from anyone while I was on maternity leave.”
A PC with a northwest force added: “Both myself and my wife are constables who have recently had a child. My wife had a great supervisor, however I do feel the HR department were woeful. They kept messing up her shifts around her due date, trying to take time off her in annual leave and TOIL [time off in lieu] instead of her actual maternity leave.
“The way fathers in policing are treated is a joke. I am not looking forward to the battle of my wife going back to work and trying to convince the force that we need to look at our shift patterns.”
A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman said: “Ensuring appropriate maternity support for officers and staff is a key consideration for forces as part of their efforts to address gender equality and ensure the wellbeing of the workforce. Our responsibilities as employers are set out in the Home Office circular 29/2003.
“Whilst current resourcing levels have presented significant challenges that have led to difficult decisions being made in relation to the workforce, we remain fully committed to meeting our legal responsibilities in terms of both maternity and paternity leave.”