Several special awards were given out at an event organised by Leicestershire Police to mark the end of Black History Month.
The annual event took place last night (October 31), at Leicester’s City of Favour Church to mark the end of Black History Month.
It was organised by Leicestershire Black Police Association, and was designed to celebrate black excellence within Leicester.
It was also a chance for Leicestershire Police to engage with members of the community, build new relationships and listen to any concerns.
“It’s a fantastic event that we hold annually out in the communities where we invite our communities to come and celebrate black excellence with us,” explained Yakub Ismail, East Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Commander and Chairman for Leicestershire Police’s Black Police Association.
“It’s an opportunity for us to listen to our communities, build new relationships and to come together in a space so that we can discuss what the future year might look like.
“When we come together at this event, we listen for new ideas, we listen for new opportunities, we take feedback from the community and then we go away and we try and work on those things,” he added.
“This is a continuous improving journey for us with all our communities, and events like this are great opportunities for us.
“For us, we will continue making black history throughout the year. Black history’s a daily thing for us – not just a monthly thing or once a year.”
At last night’s event, several awards were given to people who had made an impact in the community.
They include BBC Radio Leicester presenter Hurdle White, who was given a special lifetime achievement award for his services to media.
“He has served our communities through media for over 40 years, and was the first black person on BBC Radio Leicester. So to recognise him for his lifetime achievements was special for us, said Commander Ismail.
Eugene Kirby was also given a lifetime achievement award, for over 30 years of dedicated service to Leicestershire Police.
Temporary Chief Constable, Rob Nixon, was also given a special award for his services to the community.
“This was a decision made by the Black Police Association executive committee,” revealed Commander Ismail.
“We had a look at who we wanted to recognise and we took into consideration lots of factors. We’ve had some significant losses this year, we’ve had the disorder at Leicester, and we’ve had some changes happening within the organisation, and our Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon, has taken care of us in these difficult times,” he said.
“He’s committed, he’s passionate about making us the most inclusive, diverse force in the country, and he’s relentless in that pursuit.
“We’ve heard him say time and time again, this is only the start of the journey.
“We felt it was only right that the Black Police Association recognised him, so it was a very special night for us.”
Special mention was also given to Simon Cole, Leicestershire Police’s former Chief Constable, who passed away earlier this year.
The Black Police Association wished to commemorate and thank Mr Cole QPM, for his service and commitment to policing, including his support of the BPA.
He held the honour of being Britain’s longest serving police chief and became the youngest-ever Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police.