#WeCops - Wednesday 20th January 2021 9pm (GMT Standard Time) Armed Policing 2021 - Gender Barriers?

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Hosted by WeCops using #WeCops

This chat is guest hosted by @ACQ91 @DCIPipTaylor

Armed Policing for 2021 – Gender Barriers?


Meet Your Hosts


Superintendent Andrea Quinton (Tweets as @ACQ91) has been a police officer with Greater Manchester Police for the past 29 years, undertaking a variety of roles. Currently she is the Superintendent of the North West Armed Policing Collaboration of 5 police forces reporting to the NWROCU lead ACC Christopher Green and responsible for all firearms training in the region. She has written a regional diversity and inclusion plan for armed policing with a number of key objectives.

She is a Tactical Firearms Commander and has recently completed her Level 7 Executive Coaching and Mentoring Qualification.

Her main job (or is it in her spare time?) and without doubt the most challenging role she has, is being a mum to 2 active boys. In any other spare time, she is a trustee of Thin Blue Line UK (Tweets as @ThinBlueLineUK) – a charity created to support officers with a particular emphasis on increased awareness of the mental health impact on officers.


Detective Chief Inspector Pip Taylor (Tweets as DCIPipTaylor) has been a police officer for the last 17 years and is currently working in the collaborated world of Operations Command for Sussex and Surrey Police. Currently she leads on a variety of areas, which consist of the armed response teams based in Lewes & Burpham, Departmental Crime Manager, Serious Collision Investigations, Forensic Collision Investigations and the ISO accreditation for Forensic Collision.  She also leads on the diversity plan for armed policing and has been a Tactical Firearms commander since 2014.  Pip is part of 'Evolve' the gender equality network in Sussex, a mentor, force mediator and is an advocate for Mental health (especially having suffered PTSD in 2015 you can read her story on @BackupBuddyUK ). 

In addition to this, the rest of her time is dedicated to her family and her most demanding role is a mum and she can be found most Sunday mornings in all weathers cheering her son on at his football matches.


Pre Chat Read

The National Armed Policing Portfolio lead, CC Simon Chesterman, has put gender diversity in armed policing clearly on the agenda for a minimum of 5 years. This piece of work is being led by DCC Vanessa Jardine from West Midlands Police, who planned, and presented at the 2019 Women in Armed Policing Conference.


The national position is that 30% of our police officers are female but just 6.5% of armed police officers are female. A recent survey held in the North West region identified a number of key areas relevant to changing this position. Of particular concern for all genders, is the use of Positive Action, and the perceived lack of support for officers from Force Leadership teams, the government and IOPC following a discharge.


Many forces have now added support for female officers in armed policing including flexible working, fitted body armour, better weapons, awareness sessions, practice shoots, and personal training plans. These all support every officer from any background, and have started to improve the inclusivity of these specialist units. However there is still a need to increase diversity in this area and ensure that we have the most highly trained, effective and qualified officers in this specialist role, where difference is celebrated, valued, recognised and normalised.  

The national police uplift programme is a real opportunity to improve the workforce representation going forward, but we need to understand the best way to ensuring this crosses into all specialisms within the police service.