Race Inclusion Board member takes part in police ride-along
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A member of the public who helps scrutinise the policing of race and race-related issues in Hertfordshire has taken part in two ride-alongs with police officers.
Enoch Kanagaraj, who sits on Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Race Inclusion Board, accompanied response officers on a busy Friday night in Watford and on Sunday (13 August) joined officers in Welwyn Hatfield.
Travelling with officers for a number of hours on each occasion, he saw how 999 emergencies and other incidents were dealt with.
Enoch is the founder of the Herts-based charity One Vision, which works to tackle poverty and divisions between people of different backgrounds and religions.
The Hertfordshire Constabulary Race Inclusion Board is made up of members of the public from the Black communities in the county. It has been meeting monthly since its launch earlier this year and members have been able to scrutinise the force’s work around race and challenging subjects such as police use of stop and search.
It currently has 14 members, but is looking for more.
Speaking about his ride-along, Enoch said: “Joining officers was a really interesting insight into policing and how response officers work throughout the course of a shift.
“Watford and Hatfield are very diverse communities and it was good to see for myself how officers deal with different incidents. I was impressed by how hard working they were and their professionalism with the public in what can sometimes be challenging circumstances.”
Superintendent Di Whiteside, who leads on Race for the force, said: “Having known Enoch for some time and worked closely with him as part of One Vision, it was great to see him out and about on a shift with officers. We know that as a constabulary we have so much to learn from our community. We are committed to being an anti-racist force and one of the ways we are moving towards this is by creating our Race Inclusion Board, of which Enoch is a member.
“The board allows us as a force to hear the voices of our Black communities and to understand and scrutinise areas of policing where we know we are not yet getting things right. We would welcome new members of all ages to help us in this important piece of work.”