Naz Shah MP

Labour MP for Bradford West

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Naz Shah MP hosts event to celebrate BME success in public life.

Naz Shah MP hosts event to celebrate BME success in public life.

Naz Shah MP hosted the first of a series of special celebration events highlighting the achievements and contributions of the Black and Minority Ethnic community in public life.


The packed event, held at Bradford College’s Advanced Technology Centre on Thursday 26th January, spotlighted the achievements of Bradford born Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, the most senior ranking BME officer in Yorkshire and Humberside. 

Key speakers included Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and Dee Collins, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire who both spoke passionately about the necessity of a police service that accurately reflected the society it served, emphasising the importance of role models like Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain to achieving that end goal.

Currently the BME population in West Yorkshire stands at just under 20%. The overall total of all staff in West Yorkshire Police, including special constables and volunteers, from a BME background is 5.3%.

Dee Collins told the audience that West Yorkshire Police the she recognised that in order to better understand the diverse population, the workforce should be drawn from all communities to ensure that the service focussed on protecting the vulnerable and to keep communities’ safe and feeling safer. 

She acknowledged that despite an increase in the proportion of Police Officers from a BME background over a number of years (up from 4.6% in 2010 to 5.2% in April 2016) there is still much to do. 

Naz said “it is important that our public services reflect the communities that they serve, particularly at senior management level and positions of leadership.”

“This is not just about better recruitment to junior ranks, real change is driven by equality of opportunity reflected in greater representation of BME communities in positions of senior management and leadership. 

Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain told the audience “I have had lots of great feedback from people within this room tonight and whilst it is lovely being congratulated, it just shows how much more we need to do. Success for us as a society is when there is no requirement to celebrate people like myself. I become the norm rather than the exception.”

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