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Skills Rethink Shagufta Nasreen was inspired by Met Police Girls Allowed event

PUBLISHED: 10:06 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:06 16 November 2016

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I supported an event on November 3, organised by Det Ch Insp Shabnam Chaudhri, entitled Girls Allowed.

I was a part of the event since its inception, however even I did not anticipate the outcomes I witnessed on the day. It was a powerful event to motivate and inspire our young girls about the Met Police. The event was set in a very prestigious building, the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster and it was organised brilliantly!

The hall was full of girls from the ages of 10 upwards and most schools from across London participated in the event. While walking around I was trying to gauge the impact of this event on young girls who were mesmerised by the room full of uniformed police officers.

The girls were relaxed and somewhat inspired by what they were witnessing, police officers in their uniforms serving them tea and coffee with a friendly smile.

It immediately broke down the barriers and removed the negative stereotypical images of the uniformed officers from the minds of the young participants. The other impact felt was the normality of a profession in police even if you are a girl and the message was, yes you can do it too. We know it all too well that in BAME communities, sending your daughter to join the Met Police is something very rare still, and on top of it the relations between police and BAME communities are often soured ones.

But this was about to change, when the young girls heard personal accounts from the lives of the Met Police’s two most senior Asian women officers, Ch Supt Parm Sandhu and Det Ch Insp Chaudhri. Their journeys into the police force were somewhat courageous with galvanic effects but not without difficulties.

Girls left the hall educated, supported, motivated and inspired. We need more events like these ones locally to break down the barriers between the BAME community and the Met. More from Shagufta


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