NWP BAPA Leadership Development Day
Tuesday 12 Mar 2019
Members of the North Wales Police (NWP) Black and Asian Police Association (BAPA), Senior Leaders from across the force and guests from other police forces gathered in Soughton Hall, Northop, for the first NWP BAPA Leadership Development Day.
The event was held to raise awareness of how we can champion a workforce that represents the communities we serve and how to get it right. Chief Constable Carl Foulkes opened the conference by stating that positive action[i] is a key focus for the force and that everyone is responsible for making it happen.
The day included inputs from Deputy Chief Constable Richard Debicki, NWP BAPA Chair Liam Ho and Vice Chair Amit Patel as well as guest speakers[ii] from other forces. Presentations shared personal and professional experiences with stories of historical and more recent challenges faced by policing.
The sessions were met with great engagement on success on the day, with one attendee commenting: “The agenda and speakers were both informative and inspirational. To stand in such a large audience and present is always difficult but to do it with such passion and clarity is absolutely outstanding. I have certainly been discussing the event all day with my own team.”
President of the National Black Police Association, Sergeant Tola Munro spoke about why a representative workforce is so important and 20 years on from the Macpherson report, how the history of police and BAME community relations is still relevant today.
Superintendent Ricky Fields, PC Mohammed Naheem and PC Razeem Akhtar attended from Staffordshire Police and spoke about Positive Action in their own force. They described what being a BME officer is like both inside and outside of work, what they had to consider when joining the police and the potential impact on their communities.
Nadeem Saddique was also in attendance shared his experience of racism whilst being a police officer within Cleveland Police throughout his career. He first complained of racial discrimination in 2011 but his case was not settled until an employment tribunal unanimously agreed in his favour in 2016.
T/Sgt Liam Ho, Chair of NWP BAPA, said: “I’m really pleased with the reception of the event amongst all of the attendees. The sessions that were held were thought-provoking and inspiring which led to interesting discussion and contemplation.
“As a BAME officer myself, I think it is important to aim towards a representative workforce. Research has shown that if you do not know anyone in the police, then you are less likely to join. In order to increase cultural competence within our organisation, we need to get to know our communities better and successfully communicate with groups that have historically been hard to reach.”
Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Cressida Dick CBE QPM, wrote a letter of support for the event, saying: “I think it is incredibly important that policing across England and Wales continues to recruit and support the brightest and best people, ensuring that our organisations reflect the diverse communities we serve and providing a supportive environment for our staff to thrive with caring leadership.”
Andrea Beedles, Positive Action Officer for North Wales Police, said: “The Leadership Development Day has been successful in starting positive discussions and reflection around the importance of championing a representative workforce. The stories shared were inspiring and eye-opening and I look forward to hearing the actions that are taken by staff in the near future. Thank you to NWP BAPA for hosting and to all of the speakers who travelled from around the country to get involved on the day.”
[i] Positive Action refers to a range of measures and initiatives that employers can lawfully take to actively encourage individuals from under-represented groups to apply. North Wales Police aspires to be representative of the people it serves and is addressing under-representation through a variety of initiatives. As an employer we strive to ensure that all of our personnel practices, including recruitment, promotion and development are applied consistently and fairly for everyone.
[ii] Guest speakers:
Deputy Chief Constable Nav Malik was the facilitator on the day. DCC Malik is the highest ranked British Pakistani Muslim Officer in the UK and is the Vice Chair of the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) Workforce Representation and Diversity Portfolio and is the chair of the Positive action practitioner’s alliance (PAPA). He is also the Head of Operational Communications in Policing (OCiP).
Detective Sergeant Tola Munro, Gwent Police, is the current President of the National Black Police Association. In September 2018 Tola was names one of Wales’ 100 black icons.
Superintendent Ricky Fields, Staffordshire Police, has been actively involved in positive action within his force on behalf of the Multi-Cultural Association which has seen a change in how the force reflects the communities of Staffordshire.
Nadeem Saddique served in Cleveland Police. His last 16 years of service were spent as an armed specialist Firearms officer and a close protection officer for the royal family and government ministers. In 2011, Nadeem first began his battle to address discrimination within the organisation and in 2016 finally proved his case in an employment tribunal. Although his case was a unanimous success in proving that he had been subject to racist abuse throughout his career at Cleveland Police, he was unable to continue working as a police officer.
Sergeant Brian Loughran, Merseyside Police, is currently working as part of the Positive Action Team to make Merseyside a more representative workforce.