CHESHIRE Police has been named as the top performing police force in the country for equality amongst lesbian, gay, bi and transgender staff for the second year running.

As well as being the top police force for the second year in a row, Cheshire has also moved up eight places in the national rankings.

In 2018 the Constabulary was ranked in 26th place, but this year has seen the force move up to 18th out of 445 employers in the public and private sector.

Darren Martland, acting deputy chief constable, LGBT champion for the constabulary, said: “We are delighted to have moved up eight places in this year’s Stonewall Index and to be ranked as the top police force in the country for the second-year running is something we are extremely proud of in Cheshire.

“Reaching 18th place nationally demonstrates all the fantastic work that has been done during the past 12-months and we will continue to work with our staff, community groups and partners to strive to be one of the best performing organisations in the country.”

Community engagement was also praised, and in particular the force’s Youth Engagement teams who regularly visit schools to deliver hate crime talks and assemblies which refer specifically to LGBT hate crime.

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “This accolade is testament to the hard work of Cheshire Constabulary to ensure it is one of the country’s most inclusive employers.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am proud that Cheshire Constabulary’s workforce is more diverse than ever and is reflective of the diverse range of communities it serves throughout Cheshire.”