In a year that’s seen communities across Wales, the UK and the rest of the world come to terms with a global pandemic, it’s important that now, more than ever, we come together and celebrate Black History Month.
2020 will be the year that the world will never forget. It saw the beginning of a global pandemic that fundamentally changed our lives and the birth of a global movement demanding justice and equality for black lives. The death of George Floyd in the United States sparked worldwide condemnation and a focus on the Black Lives Matter campaign. This movement touched each one of us differently; within policing it was an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to better represent the communities we serve and challenge behaviours that go against this.
Gwent Police is committed to enabling a diverse workforce that protects and reassures all the communities of Gwent. As an organisation we champion equality and diversity; from the support we provide officers during recruitment and progression; to the way we actively engage with our Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities.
Chief Constable Pam Kelly said:
“Black History Month is an opportunity to continue the real honest dialogue that we’ve been having with the communities of Gwent on this important topic.
“Since the start of the Black Lives Matter movement, we’ve been able to continue our work to better engage with Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority groups.
“We’ve already hosted and participated in a number of online events and have learnt a lot from leaders within these communities.
“As an organisation we understand that there’s a lot more that we can do. We’re committed to learning from our past and taking action to improve the way we work in the future.”
Over the month Gwent Police will be highlighting the work already ongoing to better engage and support members of black, asian and ethnic minority communities. In partnership with the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner, the public will be able to engage with the force on; stop and search; use of force; hate crime; and overall understanding.
Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert said:
“Gwent is a multicultural area, enriched with the history and diversity of those that have called it home. Black History Month is an opportunity to come together and celebrate this heritage but also a time to reflect and to learn.
“Existing political pressures, and social and economic anxieties, have been exacerbated in recent months by both Covid-19 and the death of George Floyd in America. But these issues have also brought us closer together.
“Chief Constable Kelly and I are committed to listening to the voices and concerns of our Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority residents. We are working with community leaders across Gwent and together we will build more cohesive communities.
“We must remember that we are better together, and that by learning the lessons of the past, we will create a better future.”