Kent Police has received a Gold award for the way it supports members of the Armed Forces within the workplace.

The accolade was given to the force as part of the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme, which looks at organisations that go out of their way to offer extra assistance to veterans and their families.

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Deputy Chief Officer Ian Drysdale collected the Gold award on board HMS Warrior in Portsmouth on 6 October 2022. On his left is Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Nigel Atkinson Esq, and on his right, Lt Gen James Swift OBE, Chief of Defence People Photo: Kent Police

There is a support group that looks into projects and ideas and the force has partnered with Project Nova, which helps veterans who have been arrested or are at risk of arrest by putting them in touch with various military charities who can offer bespoke support.

The force has a dedicated area of its internal website where employees from a military background can register their previous experience and highlight any ongoing work they or their families are carrying out. Kent Police also offers up to 15 days’ paid leave for those wanting to become reservists and an app has been added to force mobile phones, which signposts and connects employees to support and advice available in their local area.

Kent Police works very closely with the NHS-led Armed Forces Network and has over 70 service champions who identify and regularly support veterans and their families. This is carried out within the force and externally across the county’s diverse communities. Military credentials are also advertised on the Kent Police website to encourage recruitment.

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From left, Kent Police Inspector Andy Miller, Human Resources Innovation Team Project Co-ordinator Venus Dhanda and Deputy Chief Officer Ian Drysdale Photo: Kent Police

Temporary Chief Constable Tim Smith said: ‘I am both delighted and proud that Kent has been recognised for the support provided to those from a military background.

‘Since we signed the bespoke Armed Forces Covenant in 2020, the force has gained Bronze, Silver and now Gold status for the way in which the scheme has been embraced. Under the leadership of Deputy Chief Officer Ian Drysdale, Inspector Andy Miller and many others involved in the network, they are truly committed to ensuring that serving or ex-military personnel are treated fairly.

‘This important work will ensure that the Armed Forces community are supported and that their valuable skills and experience contribute to providing a quality service within our communities. A huge well done to everyone involved in achieving this Gold status.’

Deputy Chief Officer Ian Drysdale added: ‘Kent Police has a proud and long association with the Armed Forces and this award recognises our achievements but we have ambitious plans to go further. Whether that is supporting our own veterans, backing those who proudly continue to serve as reservists or by recognising how we can help current members of the Armed Forces that we come into contact with – we will look to continue to improve.

‘We are currently recruiting and we encourage any members of the Armed Forces who are leaving the service to consider Kent Police as a potential employer. If you are due to leave soon and have a service character assessment of exemplary then we would very much welcome a discussion with you.’

For more details on how Kent Police supports the military community, visit the dedicated page online.

By Ed

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