Reflecting on Black History Month

Reflecting on Black History Month

TVP is an inclusive employer and recognises the value and contributions that a diverse workforce brings.

Throughout October, we have been sharing information related to Black History Month (BHM) with our employees, with the aim of raising awareness and educating our workforce on matters related to Black history.

Over the last month we:

  • Launched publicly our Independent Oversight Scrutiny Board (ISOB) for our Race Action plan; The Independent Scrutiny and Oversight Board (ISOB) demonstrates Thames Valley Police’s commitment to a meaningful Race Action Plan. The ISOB will give our communities a credible forum to hold the force to account in its delivery of the Race Action Plan. The Board is chaired by Mr Calvin Wilson, a barrister with significant experience of working with Black and other seldom-heard communities. Mr Wilson will be supported by the Chair of Thames Valley Police’s Stop and Search Independent Advisory Group, Jacqueline Roberts FRSA and Fola Komolafe MBE.
  • Shared useful internal and external resources with our colleagues, such as our internal TVP Black History Month page, and BHM posters with our Local Policing Areas. Our internal TVP BHM page contains reflections on BHM from our colleagues of Black Heritage, recordings of previous TVP BHM events, useful resources related to Black History and Key Black Figures in Policing, with the aim of raising awareness and educating our workforce on matters related to Black history.
  • Organised internal BHM events, including our first TVP BHM conference, with over 120 colleagues joining in-person and online. Our first ever BHM in-person conference “TVP Black History Month Conference – Time for Change. Actions, not words” took place at TVP’s Headquarters, and had keynote speakers such as ACC Neil Basu, DCC Tyron Joyce, Barrister Calvin Wilson ISOB Chair, NHS Doctor Dr Daniel Olaiya, during which we discussed Black History Month, our TVP Race Action Plan, and the Independent Scrutiny Oversight Board (ISOB).

Silver Programme Lead for TVP’s Race Action Plan, Superintendent Gavin Wong, of Firearms, said: “TVP’s first Black History Month Conference was a watershed moment, and I felt optimistic at the end of the event. Optimistic that this time, there is real support to make changes, and these changes will benefit everyone.We are all diverse in one way or another and creating an environment where we value everyone, seeing diversity as a positive can only be good for policing. So, my reflection of Black History Month is one of hopefulness and expectation.”

Diversity and inclusion, year-round objectives:

With our recently implemented Thames Valley Police Race Action Plan we are driving forward changes that complement our force’s People Strategy key pillars, diversity and inclusion, whilst working hard to improve our relations with our Black communities.

Our Race Action Plan is aimed at improving the trust and confidence for our workforce and of our diverse communities, especially our Black communities, and address any racial disparities in the service.

Celebrating Black History Month is part of our Race Action Plan commitment to Increase the awareness and understanding of every officer and member of staff of anti-racism, Black history and its connection to policing.

Our TVP colleagues reflect on Black History Month:

Throughout BHM, our colleagues of Black Heritage have been sharing their stories on our internal TVP BHM page. Below a few reflections from some of them:

Pictured left to right: T/DC James Morgan, DC Yvonne Newman, PC Abdullah Ahmed

T/DC James Morgan: “I am very proud of my ethnicity, even though I had little to do with it! I am also very proud to be a Police Officer and as we celebrate Black history, I can see parts of my own story reflected in others.

There are still many big challenges facing policing’s representation of diverse communities and I will continue to influence a positive change.”

DC Yvonne Newman: “Black History Month to me is a time that I look in the mirror and ask myself: Am I doing enough to make sure everyone feels included, valued and appreciated regardless of ethnicity? One experience no matter how long ago may affect thoughts and behaviours much further down the line.”

PC Abdullah Ahmed: “I joined policing because I wanted to give something back to our society, for the warm welcome my family and I got when we moved to the UK. Being a Black and Muslim Police Officer has not always been easy, but I am proud to be a Thames Valley Police Officer and to be one representing my heritage. I aspire to go as far as I possibly can within policing, helping to build a better report between the police and our communities.”

Considering a career with Thames Valley Police?

Find out more about how we could be Supporting You and how we are Valuing Difference. Discover all our opportunities across our website.