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Black History Month – Hertfordshire Constabulary ‘Brings it Home’

14 Oct 2020
  • A special celebration to mark Black History Month takes place at police headquarters.

  • The event focuses on education, information and how to grow and maintain a positive culture around race and inclusion.

  • A host of special guests entertain, inform and educate, with Chief Officers hosting a question and answer session for staff about the way forward.

A thought provoking, entertaining and emotional celebration took place on Monday 12 October, as Hertfordshire Constabulary marked Black History Month (BHM) with a special event at police headquarters in Welwyn Garden City.

‘Bringing it Home’ was the theme for 2020, focussing internally, within the force, on education, information and how to grow and maintain a positive culture around race and inclusion.

Around 70 colleagues, a limited number in person and the rest watching via a live stream, were treated to live steel pan music and singing, before guest speakers took the participants on a journey that included happy reflections of a black childhood and the influence of black culture, to the harrowing story of being forced to leave your country and arriving in Britain as a refugee, followed by the way forward for the future.

Members of the Hertfordshire Black and Asian Police Association (HBAPA) read black poetry and there was a question and answer session for the audience with senior officers, including Chief Constable Charlie Hall, about the way ahead.

The event was organised by PC Sandra Smith, Deputy Vice Chair of HBAPA, who said: “The celebration was both uplifting and reflective, with so many colleagues joining us for the event. Engagements like this help to build relationships, educate and enable a better understanding of culture, which in turn brings a greater understanding of how we can best serve our communities.”

This event was just part of an extensive programme of activity that the Constabulary has planned throughout the month, which includes internal workshops and educational training events, as well as external events involving local black and minority ethnic communities.

Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “This year’s Black History Month has allowed us to not only celebrate the contributions of our own black and Asian officers and staff, but has also given the organisation some critical cultural signposts going forward.

“For me this is about how we can improve our understanding of the issues that face our black and minority ethnic communities, so we can serve them better, and how we can fully support our own officers and staff so they can progress and grow to reach their full potential. The ambition is to have a workforce that truly reflects the communities we serve and Black History Month helps us in striving to achieve our objectives by recognising the many positive contributions, whilst also reflecting on history.

“The ‘Bringing it Home’ event was a wonderful celebration of history, music, song, memories and support, and has helped prepare the ground for the future. I am hugely grateful to the staff from the Hertfordshire Black and Asian Police Association who worked so hard to put on such an entertaining and informative event, and I look forward to working with them as we implement a range of initiatives going forward.”

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