Suleman Nagdi (Left) and PC Khadeeja Mansur (Right)
8th March is International Women’s Day, and I wanted to use this as an opportunity to celebrate the work of PC Khadeeja Mansur.
Firstly, I would like to thank Khadeeja for her service to the community. Khadeeja is a student officer who joined Leicestershire police in October. Anyone who chooses a role as a public servant should be commended.
In addition to carrying out her duties, Khadeeja is also trialling a new hijab design for operational Muslim police officers.
I would therefore also like to celebrate her trailblazing role as the first hijab wearing uniformed Muslim police officer in Leicester. Symbols are important, and the fact that more people will see themselves reflected in the police force can only be a positive thing.
Leicestershire Police should also be commended for its commitment to increasing inclusivity within the force. Enabling more people from diverse backgrounds, in this case specifically Muslim women, to join the police, will improve their work in the community.
As PC Khadeeja Mansur said, “I believe it is a big step for Leicestershire police to be able to cater to upcoming hijab wearing Muslim female officers. It breaks down barriers, breaks stereotypes and brings communities together and that is something that we value as police officers. The hijab itself is fashionable and practical, I hope it will be inspiring to fellow Muslim females to encourage them to start a career with our police force.”
I hope that this addition to our forces uniform contributes to making the police more reflective of the communities it serves, encourages a greater diversity of applications and demonstrates its openness to consider applications from all backgrounds.
As part of our “Cops Communities Consent” Project with our partners in Rotterdam and Antwerp we see this as a positive step in having an inclusive police service that recognises diversity.
Leicestershire Police have stated their aim to increase numbers of the BAME community to at least one in four, and considering current application trends, this would appear to be achievable.
Khadeeja is an exceptional example to British Muslim women and shows how diversity and inclusion works and will only strengthen our community.