Nottinghamshire Police is looking to recruit dozens of new Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to bolster front line neighbourhood policing.
And the force is going to use it as an opportunity to increase the number of people from under represented groups, including ethnic minorities, women and those with disabilities, who work for the organisation.
The recruitment campaign is seen as the ideal opportunity to attract more people from across what is known in law as protected characteristics. For example:
race (including ethnic or national origins, colour and nationality)
religion or belief
Positive action, which applies to these characteristics, means it is not unlawful discrimination to take special measures aimed at alleviating disadvantage or under representation experienced by those within any of these categories.
The force now plans to use positive action in its recruitment of PCSOs and a targeted advertising campaign will begin shortly.
Around 30 current police officers, PCSOs and Specials have volunteered to act as ‘ambassadors’ and actively encourage people from minority groups to apply.
They will support positive action events, meet with key groups in the community to drive positive action and to provide appropriate advice, encouragement and support to people from minority backgrounds who are seeking a career with Nottinghamshire Police.
The immediate focus is around recruiting PCSOs, with consideration being given to police officer recruitment at a later date.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Scarrott, lead for local policing, said: “It is crucial that our organisation truly represents the diverse communities we serve, because this can play a big part in ensuring our services are accessible to all. “It will also help raise public confidence if the public see their police reflecting the make up of the area in which they live.
“It is right we actively encourage people from minority groups to consider joining the force and I hope we will see high levels of interest.
“PCSOs play an important part in neighbourhood policing and they are truly valued, not just by the force but by the communities in which they work.
“We have shown our commitment to the role through our plans to recruit more PCSOs over the next 12 months.”
Approval for the recruitment drive was given by the Police Authority last month. The force wants to recruit a mix of full-time and part-time PCSOs, to enable it to provide enhanced cover at the times required by communities.
The first positive action event is being held on Saturday (14th April) at Hyson Green Arts Exhange in Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, starting at 1pm.
Officers and staff will be on hand to talk to people interested in applying to become a PCSO or Special Constable.
Neighbourhood Policing teams will also be asked to talk about recruitment opportunities at their beat surgeries.
Recruitment will open officially on Tuesday 1st May 2012.