Meeting Counter Terrorism Policing

Speaking with Counter Terrorism Policing's IDE Coordinator

On Thursday this week, the 11th, Committee Member Luke Russell represented the Association in meeting with Gemma Lomas, the Inclusion, Diversity & Equality (IDE) Coordinator for the national Counter Terrorism Policing network.

Gemma was keen to hear from the Association's perspective about our views over recruitment & retention of colleagues who might want to work within CTP and across policing as a whole. As there are members of the Association from GRT heritages working within CTP, it was important for us to have been recogised and spoken with.

We know from official statistics published at the conclusion of 2021 that of approximately 140,000 police officers in the UK, only 29 self identified as being of "White - Gypsy or Irish Traveller" to use the national ONS Census code.

This is significantly lower than the membership of the GRTPA, however this might be due to a multitude of reasons. Some colleagues, for example, may not feel confident in declaring their heritage within their employers HR system and this could be based upon their own personal experiences either within policing or in the community as a whole.

However, there may be another reason - in that not all police force HR systems are updated to include either the 2011 or 2021 Census categories for self definition of ethnicity.

There is another debate totally about the appropriateness of merging two different and distinct ethnicities into a single "White" code - however, as many might say - this is the best that is currently on offer.

As an Association we are also aware that the heritages of Showman, Boater and New Traveller are not ethnicities per se.

Gemma was also keen to know whether there were any specific Gypsy, Roma or Irish Traveller signs, symbols or iconography which might have been used or misquoted by extremist groups or in training products - such as certain Norse or Pagan symbology which has been adopted or corrupted by Extreme Right Wing groups.


Probably the high point was when Gemma pinned an International Romany Flag pin badge to her lanyard which Luke gifted her.

It is good to be valued and included in the conversation. We look forward to continuing to work together. 


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