The Equality Act 2010 introduced new legislation with respect to equality and diversity. The most significant of these is the public sector Equality Duty (section 149 of the Act, which came into force on 5th April 2011), which is also known as the General Equality Duty and Specific Equality Duties (which came into force on 10th September 2011), designed to support the Equality Duty.
The General Equality Duty has three aims and requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:
Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act
Advance equality of opportunity between people who share protected characteristic and people who do not share it
Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
The Cheshire Independent Advisory Group (IAG) was set up in February 2004. Its members consist of representatives from minority communities. The group of volunteers act as advocates between the police and the communities it serves.
Their assistance in providing advice about the likely impact of policing policies on diverse communities and their involvement with difficult and critical incidents has proved invaluable to the Constabulary in helping them to address the specific cultural needs of the affected community.
As its name suggests it is run entirely independently from the police and is not political or representative of any other body. It is involved in a great deal of work behind the scenes, including liaising and advising on issues which might be sensitive and working with victims and families of victims to help stop misunderstandings or issues developing.