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College of Policing releases guidance to support Jewish staff

The guidance is designed to encourage forces to consider workplace adjustments, allowing Jewish officers and staff to respect religious traditions while working.

The guidance has been developed with the Jewish Police Association, the Board of Deputies of British Jews as well as consultation with serving Jewish officers and staff.

It will facilitate understanding among managers in policing regarding Jewish customs- covering Shabbat or Sabbath, festivals, prayer, appearance, food and bereavement.

Recommendations include to consider flexible working for those wishing to observe the Sabbath, adding head coverings into uniform policy where health and safety allows as well as accommodating bereavement practices.

In the event that an officer with a flexible working arrangement is unexpectedly on duty when the Sabbath starts, the guidance asks forces to make accomodations around both uniform and equipment.  

It also covers how the Jewish Police Association can assist with recruitment and retention.

Further information is given on the observation of festivals, details of when prayer times are observed, as well as kosher food laws.  

Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at the College of Policing, Fiona Eldridge, said: “It’s vital that we support forces in building an inclusive culture and increasing trust and confidence in all communities.  It will contribute to developing positive relationships with the communities we serve which in turn will impact on reducing crime. 

This new guidance will support policing to make workplace adjustments so Jewish officers can follow their religious customs and beliefs, fight crime and keep communities safe.”

Chair of the Jewish Police Association, Detective Inspector Nick Goldwater, said: "I'm delighted to share this guidance, which will help managers support Jewish colleagues in the workplace. I hope it will also show prospective staff that the police service is an inclusive organisation that truly values diversity."

The guidance is available on the College of Policing’s website.

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