Leicestershire Police celebrates Black History Month
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Leicestershire Police are proud to celebrate Black History Month through October in partnership with the Black Police Association (BPA).
This month is a time to celebrate those people from the black and Afro-Caribbean communities who have shaped history and in particular our policing history - such as Clyde.S.Walker MBE - who was the first ever black police officer in Leicester.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year all of the celebrations will be digitally on line, ending with an open event on Friday 30 October which will bring together people to talk about what black history means to them, chaired by the Black Police Association. The event (further details below) is open to staff, officers, volunteers, community partners and leaders.
This will be the first time there has been a virtual celebration of black history at Leicestershire Police. The event intends to delve into the past of the police, hearing examples of black excellence and about individuals who truly paved the way for future black officers and staff in the force. There will be a chance to hear retired ACC Chris Thomas speak who was the first black Chief Officer as well as other guest speakers including Professor Ivan Browne, Director of Public Health for Leicester.
In addition, police headquarters will be flying a special flag showing the force crest and the BPA logo for the whole month. For officers, there will a special COVID compliant lunch served in the canteen on Wednesday 28 October of Caribbean food supplied by Jeap Consultancy and their suppliers Port Royal Ltd and Blue Mountain Foods Ltd. Jeap sponsor the Caribbean Carnival every year and any proceeds from the food eaten in the police canteen will be donated to charity.
The force will also be featuring some of our own staff on our social media channels, highlighting what black history month means to them.
Inspector Yakub Ismail with the BPA flag at force headquarters in Enderby
Chief Constable Simon Cole said: “There have been some really truly remarkable people from the black community who have been an integral part of the history of Leicestershire Police from the first firearm’s officer of a black Afro-Caribbean descent (PS Mel Thomas), the first black head of forensics (Viv Galloway) through to the most senior black officer (ACC Chris Thomas).
They all have played an important part, as role models and as community ambassadors. They are an example to everyone that a career in the police service really can be a good choice and I am happy we are able to celebrate them this month.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach said: “This month gives us the opportunity to celebrate the lives and achievements of our black fellow citizens who add so much to both society and in particular to our Police Force in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
“In a year during which have all faced an unprecedented level and diversity of challenge I am reminded how fortunate we are to live in a community with people from many different backgrounds. Thankfully, we have addressed these issues together and together we can recognise the positive progress that we have made.”
Yakub Ismail, Chair of the BPA said: “This is the time to celebrate black history and the African spirit of Ubuntu which is about togetherness.
We have all felt the impact of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and this month gives us the opportunity to show that this saying is true for us at Leicestershire Police.
I would encourage you to come join us at the end of the month on line. It will be a fantastic opportunity to hear some never before told stories from the incredible careers of retired black officers and staff, as well as discussions about the importance of Black History Month from those still serving.”
The special event will take place on line between 1.30pm and 4pm on 30 October. For more information and to register please see link below:
Download the event itinerary Black History Month 2020 Itinerary Final.pdf