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Stevenage police celebrate Black History Month

15 Oct 2020
  • New steering group to be set up by Stevenage police to improve knowledge and understanding of BAME issues.

  • Stevenage BAME officers share their professional stories to inspire and educate others.

  • Ritty’s Café visits Stevenage Police Station to share Jamaican food and culture

Police teams in Stevenage have been celebrating Black History Month (BHM) this week by recognising the contributions of their own black and minority ethnic officers and police staff, and launching a new initiative to greater improve knowledge and understanding of the communities they serve.


Chief Inspector Simon Tabert explained: “My Safer Neighbourhood teams work hard to build relationships will all of our diverse communities, but we know we can always do more. To this end I am forming a new steering group with key members of the local black and ethnic minority communities, to aid our understanding and improve our knowledge, so we can better serve their needs.”


To mark BHM and kick-start this new initiative, Clinton Moulton, who runs Ritty’s Place – a Jamaican Café in the Old Town - met with officers on Wednesday 14 October, when he visited the police station to chat about his life and his experiences. He also brought a taste of Jamaica with him providing officers and staff with a mini buffet. Clinton’s parents came to England from Jamaica in the ‘50s’ and were part of the Windrush Generation. Clinton opened the café in 2019 and named it after his mother who passed away earlier this year. He has worked extensively with troubled teenagers helping to deliver an outreach project in 2015.


“All too often our interactions with our communities are only when they need our help, so it was great to be able to meet Clinton and hear about his life experiences in a relaxed and unpressurised environment,” continued Simon. “My Safer Neighbourhood officers will be setting up similar meetings and we will be inviting people to join the steering group, which will meet to advise and inform us going forward.


“Continuing the theme of sharing, we are very fortunate here in Stevenage to have officers and staff from many different cultural backgrounds, whose knowledge and understanding of our diverse communities is invaluable in the work we do. But what we are less familiar with, are their own journeys into policing. As part of our Black History Month celebrations they have been sharing their stories with us, to help us gain a better understanding of the issues that face many people of colour throughout their professional journey and to enable us to provide better support.”


PC Chloe Scott joined Hertfordshire Constabulary after completing a great degree in criminology. Her desire to join the force was born out of a need to see change. Her experience of the police in the past had been largely negative and she wanted to be part of the change.


“Whilst studying the many theories and ideologies about the police and being very aware of the history of policing, I found myself wanting to become part of that environment and to satisfy myself that things have changed for the better,” she explained.

“Significant events had moulded my perceptions of the police and being present when black friends had been detained and searched by officers, either because they ‘happen to match the description’ or because it was ‘just a routine stop’, didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to engage with people and be a part of building and maintaining the rapport between the police and the black and minority ethnic community.

“Being a BAME PCSO in the public domain didn’t seem to sit well with many BAME members of the community, especially with the young people I was trying to engage with. They seemed to think I was part of the problem, rather than part of the solution, which was how I saw myself.

“I always explain that if black and minority ethnic officers do not join the police for whatever reason, then the police will never become representative of the community it serves, or be able to implement positive changes in order to support BAME officers appropriately.

“Now being involved in community policing for over a year I cannot see myself doing any other job - policing is my future. When I joined I was met by the Chief Inspector at Stevenage who was a black woman and I felt overjoyed and proud that she has earned that position and was well respected by many colleagues.

“I am determined to show the public that BAME officers in all departments, whether that be front line or office based, are honest, professional and passionate about performing their jobs to the highest of standards. No matter the ethnic background, our policing purpose stays the same. I may be the minority, but I want to be a positive role model to other young women like myself who have great aspirations within the police force.

Detective Constable Rondell Quinlan shares a similar motivation for joining the police. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, he is the son of West Indian parents, who like many, came to the UK as part of the ‘Windrush’ generation.

After going to university and gaining a degree in Law and Business, Rondell chose a career in the police because he too wanted to make a difference.

“I wanted to help make Hertfordshire a force that better reflects it multicultural and diverse communities, which I am proud to be a part of,” he explains. “To that end I have worked in policing for 16 years, most of which has been as a Detective Constable. The last four years I have been in Hertfordshire’s Specialist Domestic Violence Unit (DAISU) and most recently in the Local Crime unit in Stevenage.

“I think Black History Month is a great opportunity for people of colour to showcase their diverse range of skills and experiences they bring. No culture lives in isolation and to me BHM is a fantastic opportunity for collective unity and to bring people of all cultures together at a time we are seeing increases in divisions on the global stage.”


Inspector Manjit Khela originally considered a career in accountancy, but decided to take an alternative route. She too wanted to be part of the change - wanted to see more Asian women in policing.

Starting as a PC in 2003 when she was 21, she has worked her way up to the rank of Inspector following a rich and diverse career path that has seen her working in the Major Crime Unit investigating serious crime including murders and child protection cases, to leading Safer Neighbourhood teams.

In 2017 Manjit lead the force’s Positive Action Recruitment Campaign for police constables. “This was a challenging role, but one that saw me making a difference by reaching out to our BAME communities and showing them what a career in the police could be like for them,” she explained.

“I met members of the public who wanted to join and just weren’t confident about taking the first step. By offering bespoke mentoring, advice and support we saw a wealth of talented individuals secure their dream to be a police officer within the Constabulary. This support continues and is still available for anyone wishing to join us.

“In 2019 I was promoted to an Inspector and currently lead two fantastic 999 response teams at Stevenage and North Herts. I absolutely love my job and couldn’t see myself doing anything else but policing.

“I am on the committee for Hertfordshire Police Black and Asian Police Association (HBAPA), and I’m very passionate that the association is a place of support for anyone who needs it.”


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