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2.4.5 Responding with respect and empathy The process of listening to and understanding the views of the public, and trying to recognise and respond to the physical, mental and emotional challenges that we and other people may face.

First published How we respond with respect and empathy We respond with respect and empathy by:

  • listening with care and respect
  • recognising and understanding other perspectives
  • recognising the impact of emotions
  • responding to individual and community needs
  • being fair and impartial
  • considering our own and other people's welfare How we use this principle in practice We listen to and understand the public, and we try to recognise and respond to the physical, mental and emotional challenges that we and other people may face. We treat everyone with dignity, respect, patience and courtesy regardless of the circumstances. We listen and ensure that people’s input is valued and that they feel heard. We seek to build and maintain confidence within the communities we serve, and with our colleagues and partners through the way that we conduct ourselves, both on-duty and off-duty. In this way, we are all working together to contribute to a just and secure society. We show empathy in our actions, behaviours and words to make a positive difference. We engage with a wide range of individuals and communities, each with vulnerabilities and needs, as well as interacting with people who have experienced, or are experiencing, trauma and adversity. To relate to the perspectives of others and different communities, we seek to identify and understand their experiences, values and beliefs, recognising and acknowledging that they may differ from our own. We listen to and consider their perspectives without making assumptions. By keeping an open mind, we can challenge our preconceptions and assumptions, and we can reveal alternative ways of responding. We consider the potential impact of alternative courses of action on those affected and use this to inform our decision-making. We operate with emotional intelligence. We do this by thinking about our own emotions objectively, being aware of the impact we may have on those around us. Considering a situation objectively and setting aside our emotions allows us to respond fairly, impartially and with sensitivity to other’s needs and situations. We accept this as part of the selflessness required to undertake our roles. We build and maintain strong relationships with our communities and others we work with, such as agencies and partners. We understand our specific moral and legal obligation to safeguard the most vulnerable in society. In promoting equality and celebrating difference, we recognise that we may need to tailor our response to ensure that we are being fair and acting with integrity and respect. We show empathy by understanding the collective experience and history of our communities, and we reflect this in our responses. Recognising where our own emotions, or those of a colleague, have been affected by the demands of policing and repeated exposure to trauma is important for everyone’s wellbeing. Maintaining professional boundaries helps us to protect ourselves, our colleagues and those around us. We remind ourselves of all the people and communities we have helped, as well as those we will help in the future, by continuing to improve our service. Empathy helps us to recognise when others are suffering, and to support them to seek help if necessary. 

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