Press release

Black History Month 2021

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Black History Month 2021

Friday 29 October 2021

October represents Black History Month in the UK. This year’s theme is ‘Proud To Be’ and invites individuals to share their personal and unique experiences, focusing on how people are making history in their own way as well as celebrating the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history.

There have been a number of key events in UK history that have highlighted and protested racism within the police, such as the Brixton Riots (1981), the murder of Stephen Lawrence (1993) and subsequent McPhearson Report (1999), and the Black Lives Matter movement – which saw a huge resurgence last year following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the United States.

This year also saw the death of the first Black female police officer in the United Kingdom, Sislin Fay Allen, who joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1968 and passed away at her home in Jamaica in July, aged 83.

Although policing has made significant strides towards improving Black representation within police forces since 1968, we also recognise that there is still a long way to go.

Over the past month we have spoken to a number of Police Now officers and members of Police Now HQ staff, to ask them what representation and diversity in the police service means to them and their experiences of joining the police.

PC Bilal Sani-Mohammed

Police Constable, Metropolitan Police

Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme Alumnus

“One of my best moments was when I was on a Safer Neighbourhoods team in Croydon and an elderly resident told me how a multi-lingual poster I had created prevented her from becoming a victim of fraud when someone tried to scam her. I’ve also been part of a team responsible for implementing the Mayor of London’s Action Plan.

“One of the most reassuring things I’ve learned while working in the Met is that there are far more people willing to advance positive change than some detractors will have you believe.

“That being said, we could do better to rebuild trust and confidence in our communities. I am a cautious optimist though.”

Please see here for PC Sani-Mohammed’s full blog post. Credit: Metropolitan Police.

DI Upile Mtitimila

Detective Inspector, Cheshire Constabulary

Police Now National Graduate Leadership Programme Alumnus

“It is so important we work collectively and bring people along in terms of showing how there is an issue (data) and why Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is important to policing – for communities, but also operationally.

“There is more to be done and I am committed to affecting change from within. Policing needs to show that change, and empower individuals to feel as though it is something they can be themselves.”

Please see here for DI Mtitimila’s full Q&A.

PDC Peter McDonald-Smith

Performance and Development Coach

Police Now HQ Staff

“I wanted to join Police Now so I could coach new police officers and help them improve important skillsets to become more effective listeners, communicators and enablers. I wanted a job where I could make a difference and help tackle inequality, injustice and violence.

“I like being able to help bridge the gap between communities and the police, and having joined the policing sector I’ve gained new understandings and perspectives of the police which helps me do this.”

Please see here for Peter’s full Q&A.

YOUR PRESS CONTACTS

For any enquiries please get in touch with us. 

VICKIE CUSTY

Media and Communications Manager

HANA TUCKER

Media and Communications Officer

Devon & Cornwall Police

Police Now | Devon & Cornwall Constabulary
cc-shaun-sawyer

Shaun Sawyer

Chief Constable

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