The nature of policing means that we interact with people from different backgrounds every day. It is important that we understand and are sensitive to individuals' differences so we can provide an appropriately tailored policing service. To do this, we need to employ a workforce that is reflective of our communities.

What is positive action?

Positive action is a legal term, which refers to a number of methods designed to counteract the effects of past discrimination and to help abolish stereotyping.

Action can be taken to encourage people from particular groups to take advantage of opportunities for work and training. This can be done when under-representation of particular groups has been identified in the previous 12 months.

Positive action is often confused with positive discrimination. In recruitment terms, positive discrimination would generally mean employing someone because they come from a traditionally disadvantaged group, irrespective of whether they have the relevant skills and qualifications. This is unlawful and is not supported by West Mercia Police.

Positive action is not about giving more favourable treatment to particular groups in the recruitment process. Selection for recruitment must be based solely on merit.

Who does it apply to?

This action applies for police staff roles, police officers, community support officers and special constables protected by the characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act 2010 aims to prevent discrimination and strengthen the promotion of equality, make the current equality law consistent, clear and easier to follow ensuring fairness across the board where possible. 

However, the protected characteristics must be assessed separately in each case depending on West Mercia Police level of representation in the previous year. This will determine who we can offer positive action support to.

The protected characteristics are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation.

How can we help?

Within our Human Resources team, we have staff members who develop initiatives around recruitment, retention and progression.

The team attends community based events where they are available to answer any questions you may have about working with us. If individuals are interested in pursuing a career with us we are able to take their details in order to discuss future employment opportunities with West Mercia Police.

How can you get this help?

As vacancies arise, our Human Resources team can offer tailored assistance. We recognise that everyone is different and want to help you, according to your needs. For more information on how we can support you, please email