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2023 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
8 June 2023
Carried as Amended

Conference notes with concern the decision in 2022 by London Pride that the Metropolitan Police could not march at Pride in uniform, and the decision in 2023 by Brighton Pride that Kent Police would not be welcome to march this year.

However, Conference also notes the Baroness Casey Review into the Metropolitan Police reported “institutional racism, sexism and homophobia in the Met”. The Chief Constable of Police Scotland has accepted that the same is true of Police Scotland. It is likely that police services across the country will recognise the findings within their own organisations. Conference acknowledges that institutional prejudice affects those within policing, as well as those reliant on the service.

Legitimacy is an essential part of British policing, which is done with the consent of the public. When communities do not have a significant level of trust in the police relationships need to be rebuilt.

Conference recognises that referring to the police service as institutionally homophobic does not mean that everyone, including UNISON members, who works in policing is homophobic. However, Conference acknowledges that there is more that police services can do to be LGBT+ inclusive, both as an employer and as a public service.

Conference believes that Police attendance at Pride events is, on the whole, a positive move. Attendance is usually coordinated by LGBT+ officers and police staff, which includes UNISON members. Such high visibility community engagement is good opportunity for police staff and police officers to show support, not only for each other, but for their local community.

Conference believes that police services should be encouraged to march at Pride events, and that this should not be just as a token gesture. Marching at Pride must be part of a genuine programme of community engagement to build and maintain trust with LGBT+ communities.

Conference calls on the Service Group Executive to:

1)Work with the National LGBT+ Committee to encourage UNISON Police and Justice branches to attend Pride events, whether as part of an employer contingent or alongside other UNISON colleagues;

2)Work with the National LGBT+ Committee to map Police Services that have specific LGBT+ and trans specific inclusion policies, with a view to developing a bargaining strategy to encourage police service employers without inclusive policies to adopt them;

3)Work with each National self-organised group committee to promote UNISON’s self-organised group structures within Police and Justice branches and develop a strategy to improve Police and Justice branch engagement with self-organisation at regional and national levels;

4)Continue to maintain a relationship with the National LGBT+ Police Network and consider building on that relationship by inviting them to deliver a workshop at the 2024 UNISON Police and Justice Conference.