Do you want to:

  • Live in a safer community?
  • Help to police your neighbourhood better?
  • Advise on police operations and strategy?
  • Share your experience and expertise to help build trust with diverse communities?
  • Work with people from a wide range of backgrounds, lifestyles, cultures, ages and interests?

If you can answer yes to any or all of these questions, then West Mercia’s Independent Advisory Groups (IAGs) need you.

Join our independent advisers, drawn from a broad cross-section of society of all ages, interests and ethnic backgrounds. Members of Independent Advisory Groups act as ‘critical friends’ to the police, influencing, advising and shaping how the police support and protect your community. The groups offer impartial advice to the police on a range of different subjects and meet regularly to discuss hot topics in policing.

Objectives

The IAGs and their members are here to:

  • Provide advice to the police about a wide range of issues, telling them what effect policing is having on different people in the community. This is particularly important regarding hate crime and when there’s a major incident which may be of particular concern for certain groups in our communities.
  • Look at policing policies and practices, pointing out any issues or unforeseen impacts of these, giving their views on whether these are working well and making suggestions for change or improvement, particularly in relation to fairness and inclusion.
  • Examine reports about police powers (such as use of force) to make sure that they are using these in a fair, transparent and proportionate way. This helps to improve practice and to build mutual understanding, confidence and good relationships with all our diverse communities.

There are three protected characteristic groups which offer specialist advice and guidance to police on diversity issues and the effects on their communities:

There are also five IAGs covering each of our Local Policing areas, inputting into their neighbourhood police services:

What have IAGs achieved?

IAGs have been integral in providing advice and guidance to the police in many areas, including:

  • Critical and major incidents
  • Use of firearms and Tasers
  • Stop and search
  • Hate crime
  • Community relations and engagement
  • Equality and diversity issues
  • Disability access
  • Community activities.

Join us! 

The Independent Advisory Groups are now recruiting new members in your community to help shape and impact local policing. You are welcome to join as many of the three protected characteristic groups as you feel is appropriate, and/or the local IAG group where you work, live or support somebody. If you would like to join, all we ask is that you have an interest in policing, can volunteer for a few hours every couple of months and would like to share your opinions and advice on policing matters.

To apply or find out more, read our leaflet or poster, or contact the Equality and Diversity team:

Penny is a critical friend to West Mercia Police, offering advice and guidance on a range of issues. She has done this by volunteering some time to become an IAG member. Penny has an interest in equality and diversity and has joined the LGBT IAG, where she is able to offer more specialised advice to the police on more sensitive issues. Take a look at what Penny had to say about the rewards and benefits of being an IAG member, or watch this video of the Chief Constable of West Mercia Police talk about the merits of becoming an IAG member.