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To me, Black History Month means we reflect and remember the important contributions, challenges and events with black history that have occurred before us. It is also an opportunity to take time out to highlight that we are all role models and that we can all make a positive change around us. This is about every day and not just as part of Black History Month.
The theme for 2022 is ‘Time for change: Action not words’ and this ties in with the vision for National Hate Crime Awareness Week of being an ‘upstander not a bystander’. There has never been a more important time for us to stand together and make the change.
I have worked in the public sector for over 30 years and have worked across operational, tactical and strategic levels. Following a successful career in the NHS as a recruitment manager, I joined Kent Police in 1998 to make a positive difference to policing and to be a role model. Initially I joined as a central crime reporting unit investigator and progressed to cover area diversity manager, community liaison manager, domestic abuse and hate crime manager, community engagement and more recently strategic hate crime lead.
My discretionary roles include working as a family liaison officer, and I am the first member of police staff to be appointed to this role in the country. I am also a trauma risk management practitioner and a critical incident advisor. I am proud to be authentic, in all aspects of my work.
Despite facing different challenges, I have turned every adverse situation into an opportunity. My parents and family faced regular, overt and life changing racism in the 1960’s and 70’s when we lived in Hillingdon, Middlesex before moving to Kent in 1971. I began to be the change I wanted to see while I was still at school, and I continued to practise this ideology throughout my career. I knew this would involve challenging, educating and empowering people around me.
At Kent Police, I have been inspired and supported by many individuals and in turn, I develop and support those around me.
I am honoured to have been a judge in the National No2H8 awards for the past three years and have spoken at numerous conferences locally, nationally and globally including Women in Policing and at the NBPA (National Black Police Association) USA.
I was one of the founding members of the Kent BPA (Black Police Association) and continue to be involved in all staff support networks to help and support my colleagues to thrive.
My ‘can do’ approach has made a positive difference to diversity and community engagement which has been recognised through various awards including the Wainwright Trust award/National criminal justice award. I was also a finalist in the Chief Constable’s Awards for the Phillip Pratt award for community policing.
In September 2017, I was the winner of the Asian Achievers’ Award under uniform and civil category and the NRI global ‘Make a change award.’
In my personal life, I am a carer for my mother, but in my spare time I enjoy charity work supporting SATEDA, a specialist domestic abuse charity, Caring Hands and Carers First. My inspiration is to write poetry - I wrote and presented a piece for our National Police Memorial Day.