Earlier this week I was delighted to hear that Simon Woolley, Operation Black Vote’s Director and a member of Police Now’s Board of Trustees, is to be knighted.
Whenever I spend time with Simon, I am reminded just how inspiring an individual he is. He has now been on the frontline of high-profile campaigns to transform our society for well over two decades. Simon has never shied away from highlighting social and racial injustice, speaking truth to power, and being a supporter to those trying to make progress within our society. Given the scale of the challenges that we continue to face as a country, with the progress and the many setbacks he has seen over those years, it is nothing short of remarkable that he continues on his mission with such determination every single day.
I first met Simon five years ago and I knew straight away that he shared Police Now’s mission to support the police service become truly reflective of our society by recruiting and developing men and women from every background. From our conversations, I knew that he was an avowed believer in the Peelian principle that, ‘the police are the public and the public are the police’. He and I really do believe that there can barely be any more urgent task than creating a police service which is representative of the communities we serve.
I have hugely appreciated Simon’s honest, direct and supportive challenge – pushing Police Now to continually lift our ambitions and strive to achieve what is both possible and essential to the future of the police service and our society. Simon’s expertise and drive has undoubtedly helped us develop new ways of attracting people to policing who might not otherwise have considered policing as a career. Despite all of that though, I know that while we’ve made some progress, we still have a long way to go.
Speaking about his knighthood, Simon said:
“I am truly honoured and humbled. For the past 24 years I’ve had the best job in the world. I wake up in the morning racing with ideas about how I can change our world, challenge racism, transform institutions, and inspire working-class young men and women to be the best they can be.”
All of us at Police Now send our congratulations to Simon for this well-deserved recognition and I am hugely grateful for his work, with both Police Now and Operation Black Vote, to tackle inequality, improve racial justice and create a police service that truly reflects the communities we serve.
David Spencer, CEO, Police Now.