Our people and the communities we serve, are at the heart of what we do. We’re a small, but perfectly formed family-oriented place to work with a close-knit community, dedicated to making sure our officers and staff feel looked after, appreciated and accepted.
We all experience challenging phases in life, or have different backgrounds, interests or orientations. Our various open and inclusive networks are in place to provide support or advice to whoever may need it. With regular meetings (currently virtually due to restrictions) and newsletters, we’re keen to encourage like-minded employees to access the support, and often friendship, of others.
We have five active staff support networks and new members are always welcome.
Connect is our staff network to support, promote and empower women in policing, open to all police officers, specials, police staff and volunteers. The group's vision is to proactively drive equality of opportunity and oppose discrimination within the workplace and wider community, as well as providing a safe and supportive environment to discuss important issues.
Wiltshire Ethnic Police Association
Originally known as the Black Police Association (BPA), our network for ethnic minorities was established in 1999. Following the murder of Stephen Lawrence, the group was formed to assist the force in race and diversity issues. Renamed Wiltshire Ethnic Police Association in 2020, members gain support for any complaints procedures, access mentoring or attend Continuous Professional Development (CPD). Officers also regularly meet with the South West Regional BPA to discuss recruitment, retention and development of staff across the region – it’s a great opportunity to share information, get best service possible and help influence change.
Our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBTQ+) network is an active group of energetic police officers and staff who get together to discuss all aspects of life at work and in the community. They work within the Force and with other organisations to raise awareness and tackle issues like homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. They also get involved in brilliant community events such as Swindon & Wiltshire PRIDE and Salisbury PRIDE.
Christian Police Association
Nationally, The Christian Police Association (CPA) was founded in 1883, making it the longest running police staff association, encouraging and supporting Christians in the police service. The Wiltshire Branch of the CPA was reformed in 2012 with a small band of officers and staff and aims to encourage and support Christian staff as well as helping to form and maintain strong relationships between the Force and wider Christian community.
Wiltshire Disability Police Association
The Disability Network is available to provide support and guidance for disabled, injured and ill officers and staff. It aims to ensure the fair treatment of disabled, injured and ill employees and ensure they are provided with equal opportunities. The group links with the national Disabled Police Disabled Association and the National Police Autism Association, providing further forums for assistance or information for those requiring it.
Neurodiversity Support Group
In 2022 we set up a Neurodiversity Support Group as part of the Disability Police Association, with a focus on neurodivergent conditions. The group meets regularly and provides advice and guidance to members, as well as raising awareness of neurodiversity across the Force through events like Neurodiversity Celebration Week with information resources and webinars.
We established a Peer support scheme in 2020. They provide informal, one to one support to Police Officers and Police Staff on a variety of subjects. They have areas of expertise, often gained in everyday lives, and are there to offer confidential support and a listening ear.
Alongside our recognised groups and peer supporters, we have three active groups for specific topics:
Parenting Support Group: Whether you’re pregnant or already a parent, this active group is of support to all those on their parenting journey. Sharing experience or tips on balancing the demands of a busy work and home life, or just a social catch up with those in a similar life-stage, this group has been going strong for several years and often meet at local, family-friendly venues throughout the county (Covid restrictions permitting).
Cancer Matters: Cancer touches so many of our lives, this vital groups holds virtual meetings and one-to-ones for anyone who needs a little extra support or might find comfort in talking with others in a similar position, helping to face fears and break down barriers that exist around the word ‘cancer’. Anyone is welcome, whether diagnosed, living with, supporting or caring for someone through their journey. They're available to offer a listening ear and try and make a difference to cancer patients, their families, friends and colleagues. By sharing information, they can signpost people to other services, both inside and outside Wiltshire Police.
Menopause Support Group: Some women sail through their menopause with barely a symptom, but it’s not an easy transition for all. Managing the effect of menopause in the workplace can sometimes raise significant issues. This group meet monthly virtually (at the moment) over lunch to discuss symptoms, concerns and experiences openly and offers support to those who may need it.
Other support networks available
We also actively encourage membership to the following groups who can provide help and support in certain situations to our people:
UNISON is the trade union if you work for a police force in England and Wales as a member of Police Staff. Whatever role you might be interested in, you become part of the police team which keeps our communities safe. UNISON is proud to represent police staff and proud of our network of representatives, who all work in police forces. They know about the issues you might face at work and the pressure you could be under.
Their reps form the vital links between members and the union as a whole and are volunteers, trained by UNISON to support members at work. When UNISON members face problems a rep can help individual members by helping them discuss their concerns with the employer. UNISON reps are trained to deal with issues around employment law, grievance and disciplinary matters.
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) is the staff association for police constables, sergeants and inspectors (including chief inspectors).
Officers from the Federated ranks can opt to become a subscribing member of the Federation, entitling them to the full range of support and assistance in accordance with Federation rules.
From 1 September 2020, membership costs £23.58 per month which is claimable against your income tax - the rebate makes the net cost of subscriptions under £20 a month.
We are one of the largest staff associations in the UK representing more than 130,000 rank and file officers over 43 Branches. Wiltshire Branch Chair is currently Mark Andrews
Aims & objectives
The Police Federation of England and Wales has a statutory obligation to ensure that the views of our members are accurately relayed to government, opinion formers and key stakeholders. To ensure this we measure the work we do and what we seek to achieve against our organisational aims and objectives.
Represent and Support Aim:
To represent and promote the interests and welfare of our members, and to support colleagues to achieve the required professional standards.
We do this by:
• meeting our statutory responsibilities • representing our members’ interests in matters of discipline, diversity, health and safety, welfare, pensions, claims and member services and many other issues • ensuring that representatives have the required skills and abilities to fulfil their role and meet their statutory responsibilities • providing national and local representation to ensure that our members receive appropriate training to deliver a professional police service.
To influence internal and external decision makers at local and national levels on matters affecting our members and the police service.
We do this by:
• providing clear leadership locally and nationally on issues affecting the membership • listening to and reflecting issues concerning our members • maintaining an effective communications strategy • engaging with all internal and external stakeholders and decision makers • putting evidence-based information in the hands of decision makers.
To maintain and improve the conditions of service and pay of our members.
We do this by:
• actively participating in national, force and local negotiations • negotiating collectively and on behalf of individual members • using evidence-based information in our business practices.