Recruitment call as communities unite at force's annual Intercultural Evening
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Hundreds of guests from diverse communities attended the force’s 26th Annual Intercultural Evening as a ‘thank you’ for the support they give across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
During the annual event which was held at police headquarters last night (Thursday 14 November), guests had an insight into policing and the work of many teams – as well as an opportunity to find out more about a career at Leicestershire Police, as the force continues its current recruitment drive.
Those who showcased their work included, the Roads Policing Unit, Recruitment Team, Police Link Officers for the Deaf (PLOD) scheme, African Network, Christian Police Association, Sikh Police Association, Hindu Police Association, Muslim Police Association, Black Police Association, as well as the newly launched Adoption and Fostering support network and the Fire Service.
A number of faith leaders from a range of backgrounds joined community representatives, schools, universities, councillors and staff networks. Special guests who were also in attendance included, Lord Lieutenant Mike Kapur, the High Sheriff of Rutland Margaret Miles, The High Sheriff of Leicester Tim Hercock and Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Sarah Furness, accompanied by her deputy Kathy Robinson.
Steven Odunmbaku from the African Network also attended and presented Chief Constable Simon Cole with gifts.
He remarked on the “excellent evening” and added that it was a “great way to help establish relationships between the community and the police.”
In addition, representatives from the Cops, Communities and Consent Project, led by Leicester charity, the St Philip’s Centre, to foster greater understanding and involvement between different faiths and cultures in diverse cities, attended, alongside those from the force’s Violence Reduction Network.
Dedicated PCSO Yunus Dada was also presented the Annual Diversity Award by Reverend Tom Wilson and Suleman Nagdi from the St Philip’s Centre, for his engagement within the Somalian and Muslim communities of East Leicester.
As part of the evening, guests were invited on a tour of the Contact Management Department (CMD) to meet the call handlers responsible for answering the emergency calls. Cadets and Specials from the force also took guests on a tour of the firing range at the Tactical Dogs and Firearms Unit.
The force’s Intercultural Evening tied in with the national Interfaith Week, which aims to build good relationships and educate both religious and non-religious people on different faiths and beliefs. This week also marks the 550th anniversary of Sikh leader Guru Nanak and was marked by a presentation from Resham Singh Sandhu from the Sikh Police Association.
The event has been highly regarded by guests since it launched back in 1993. Chief Constable, Simon Cole said: “We’ve had yet another great turnout at this year’s event, with hundreds of guests attending.
“This is a really exciting time for police officer recruitment and a great opportunity to get more people from all backgrounds, cultures and religions on board to join our diverse workforce, and our Intercultural Evening reflects this.
“The annual event is also a great way of bringing together people from across the force area, and for the force to hear first-hand from them about what we do well and what we could do better in terms of policing.”
Among those in attendance was Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach. He said: “This event seems to get bigger and better every year. I was pleased to see such a great turnout and delighted that I could meet so many of our guests personally to discuss their views on policing.
“We are lucky to live in one of the most diverse areas of the country, where difference is celebrated. That’s why it’s so important to encourage greater understanding and inclusivity at every opportunity and this evening was an excellent way to do just that.”
Lynne Woodward, Head of Equality & Human Rights at Leicestershire Police, said: “This is an important event in the police calendar. It gives us the opportunity to showcase some of the work we are doing in the area of diversity and inclusion, in particular the work and dedication of our eight staff networks.
“It also enables us to highlight the work of our Independent Advisory Groups who provide advice in a number of equality areas. It is an important opportunity for members of our local communities and police officers and staff to get together, share ideas and continue to work towards making Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland a safe place to live and work.”