Alumni Impact Awards: Improving Public Confidence, Surrey Police
Wednesday 4th October 2023
Police Constable Sanjar Najibi has been recognised at Police Now’s national Alumni Impact Awards, for his work to support a community of over 200 Afghan refugees who have been resettled in Elmbridge. Through collaborating with community partners and organising a number of events, he has strengthened relationships with the public and improved intelligence gathering in the area.
The annual Alumni Impact Awards celebrate the achievements of officers across England and Wales who have graduated from Police Now’s two-year programmes and have gone above and beyond to reduce crime, support their communities and build public trust and confidence in policing.
Eight officers from forces across England and Wales were recognised at the awards ceremony on Friday 22nd September, at Cutler’s Hall in Sheffield. The awards were presented by Police Now’s Chief Executive Officer Kurtis Christoforides and members of the Police Now HQ team.
RUNNER UP: Improving Public Confidence, Police Constable Sanjar Najibi
Police Constable Sanjar Najibi collaborated with a range of stakeholders in Elmbridge such as the local council, Surrey Police Association of Culture and Ethnicity (SPACE) and local charities to support over 200 Afghan refugees who have been re-settled in the UK.
Sanjar joined Surrey Police in 2021 via Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme. Having come to the UK at the age of five as an Afghan refugee himself, he has drawn on his own personal experiences and language skills in Dari, Pashto and Hindi, to build public trust and confidence amongst the local refugee community.
With support from his policing colleagues and community partners including Big Leaf Foundation – a charity dedicated to working with displaced young people across Surrey – he organised a range of events. These included meet-and-greet sessions, delivering presentations and advice on UK law, and running sporting events including a cricket match for adults and football event for children.
Thanks to his work, the reporting of intelligence has increased in the area and more residents feel comfortable reaching out for support, enabling Sanjar and his colleagues to better understand and address community priorities and crime.
PC Sanjar Najibi said: “When I first joined my neighbourhood policing team, we were often met with distrust from refugees within the community. It was important to me to address this, particularly as I came to the country as a refugee myself. Where we were once met with hostility, there are now handshakes and warm welcomes, and our lines of communication are much more open. There is always still more work to be done but myself and my colleagues on the neighbourhood policing team are passionate about continuing to support local residents and drive forward positive community relationships.”
Paul Waller, Sanjar’s Police Now Performance and Development Coach who nominated him for the award, said: “Through taking personal responsibility and using his skills, knowledge and experience, Sanjar has significantly contributed to building strong relationships with people in the community. He has received positive feedback from local partners, who have praised his attention to detail, communication, and ability to understand and relate to people to help them address concerns. Perhaps the best evidence of his success though, is the reception he and his colleagues now receive from members of the public. No doubt the residents on Sanjar’s patch will continue to experience the benefit of this.”