Black History month unites police and public

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POLICE have hailed members of the public who helped celebrate Black History Month during its two-day event.

Black ethnic culture and policing were brought together at events at Hampshire Constabulary’s Southern Support and Training HQ at Netley.

Exhibitions, guest speakers and activities highlighted how the force works hard to protect and reflect all the communities it serves.

The weekend saw history displays, musical performances, food and information on careers in policing.

The event was opened by the Chief Constable Andy Marsh.

He said: ‘Every section of the community has to believe that we are fair.

‘The force needs to recruit and retain more black minority ethnic officers and staff in all parts of the organisation so we are of the community.

‘Black History Month is a great opportunity to celebrate and remind us how much more we have to do.’

Chief Insp Alison Heydari, Hampshire Constabulary’s Portsmouth District commander, whose parents were from Guyana in South America, said: ‘I was pleased to see the personal interaction between police and people from diverse communities.

‘It’s important to be able to hear views and perceptions on how policing should happen to build relationships.

‘We would like to thank each and every person and partner agency that took the time to attend, helping us to promote mutual trust and respect.’

Jayanti Shah, Black History Month co-ordinator, said: ‘There is progress here in terms of issues being taken seriously but we are only just at the start. We have a lot more to do.’