Cheshire Constabulary reviews recruitment process following employment tribunal judgement

Cheshire Constabulary has reviewed its Police Constable recruitment process after an employment tribunal ruled against the force in a case brought by 25-year-old Matthew Furlong on the grounds of sexual orientation, race and sex.

The case related to the 2017/18 police officer recruitment process and the Constabulary's interpretation of the Equality Act 2010.

The tribunal found that the force had discriminated against Mr Furlong as it had unlawfully treated candidates with protected characteristics more favourably, and did not consider that the candidates who passed interview could all have been of equal merit.

Deputy Chief Constable, Julie Cooke said: "We have reflected on our interpretation of the Act and thoroughly reviewed our practices to ensure that we comply with it.

"We accept the findings of the tribunal and have looked very carefully at our entire recruitment practice. Action has been taken to change some of our processes and take account of the hearing's result. It is important for us, and for candidates, that the recruitment process is fair and transparent and that all candidates are treated in a fair and consistent manner.

"However, I would like to stress that these processes were put in place with the best of intentions to attract candidates from diverse communities, and at no time were the standards of our recruits reduced."

The interview process now follows the College of Policing scoring guidelines and is based on the four values of the Competency & Values Framework (CVF) and is no longer based on a pass or fail.

Matthew has since accepted an offer of a job with the Constabulary and will be joining the organisation as a student officer in September.

DCC Cooke added: "We have a public-sector equality duty to take action to address underrepresentation, which continues to be a challenge in Cheshire. We will take positive action to achieve a workforce that truly represents our communities in accordance with the Equality Act."