West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion have a dedicated Diversity Inclusion group which explores how to improve the service we deliver with a focus on various aspects of diversity, to ensure that we meet the needs of all our service users. The group is made up of various expertise from our teams across West Yorkshire, including volunteers with lived experience.
The Diversity Inclusion group was formed following the success of a six month pilot scheme trialled in Leeds police custody in which Practitioners offered support to all individuals from a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) background. It was identified that people (BME) backgrounds are less likely to identify vulnerabilities to police on their risk assessment. As a result, these people are less likely to receive our support.
This pilot was very successful in Leeds and was rolled out across all West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion sites. Data showed that the number of people from a BME background that received our support increased during the pilot scheme and continues to increase. BME champions were implemented in each area with responsibility to link with partners, services, and community leaders, and to help and assist colleagues and monitor engagement across the sites.
We also implemented contact cards in West Yorkshire police custodies in different languages to advise how to access support. These state “Liaison & Diversion are here to help. If you would like support please contact on…”
The cards direct individuals in the direction of the Liaison and Diversion website which has the option to alter the language.
Our teams are becoming increasingly diverse and have several members of staff who speak second languages, the service plan to use these resources to help clients with an initial phone call to explain the service and support.
Our service has now expanded the work with BME clients to incorporate a wider ambition to improve work with all our underserved and hard to reach clients. The service has established a Diversity Inclusion group that will focus on various aspects of diversity.