South Wales Police takes a zero tolerance approach to homophobic bullying and harassment in the workplace. The force’s ‘Fairness at Work’ policy firmly states that anti-gay behaviour towards colleagues will not be tolerated, and examples of what constitutes homophobic and biphobic bullying are included to clearly underline the unacceptable behaviour that will not be tolerated in the workplace.
These policies are supported by a number of initiatives designed to give staff confidence in raising issues and grievances. A group of ‘First Contact Officers’ have been recruited from all areas of the force to give initial support to colleagues and provide a confidential method of reporting incidents. To ensure the initiative is sensitive to the needs of LGB staff, First Contact Officers are provided with training that specifically covers issues affecting lesbian, gay and bisexual employees.
With the aim of ensuring that no colleagues suffer harassment in silence, the scheme has been widely promoted throughout the force and directly to the Gay Staff Network. To give confidence to lesbian, gay and bisexual colleagues, an executive member of the Gay Staff Network is a named First Contact Officer visible on promotional materials.
All concerns raised by the First Contact Officers are analysed anonymously by the Gay Staff Network at specific ‘case conferences’, also attended by a member of the professional standards team and the Equality & Diversity Unit. Further training has also been provided to all members of the Gay Staff Network by a local LGB&T counselling service to help network members deal informally with issues that may arise.