Humans of West Midlands Police: the stories behind the badge
A naïve teenager fighting the Gulf War; a multiple sclerosis
sufferer standing up to stigma …and the challenges of pairing a
police hat with an afro!
They're just some of the talking points in a candid Humans of
West Midlands Police project launched by the force this week (23
Oct) that sees officers open up on a range of issues both personal
Inspired by the hugely popular Humans of New York (HONY)
photoblog - which has more than 18-million Facebook likes - the
campaign aims to capture the individual behind the West Midlands
The series starts with profiles on six employees from minority
ethnic backgrounds - part of the force's Black History Month
celebrations - but will continue by shining a spotlight on officers
and staff from all areas of police life.
Photo portraits of Head of People and Organisation
Development Ali Layne Smith; Solihull Police Commander Bas
Javid; Recruitment Officer Jas Kaur; Sergeant Bushra
Zarif and Special Constable Hitesh
Mehta are displayed in an exhibition open to the public
in West Midlands Police HQ Lloyd House. The portraits have been
shot by WMP's very own force photographer, Graham Bedingfield.
It comes as West Midlands Black and Asian Police Association
(BAPA) also marked the Black History Month with a thought provoking
event at Force Headquarters yesterday (Tuesday 24 October).
The event focussed on the need for West Midlands Police to have
a diverse workforce that looks like the people it serves and how
recruitment and retention of BME staff can continue to be
BAPA event at Lloyd House Police HQ on 24th October
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson and Chief Constable
Dave Thompson took part in a question and answer session on: "What
can West Midlands Police do to fully embrace Positive Action and
increase BAME representation in the workforce?" They were also
joined on the panel by Jason Campbell, West Midlands Fire Service's
strategic enabler for prevention, Joan Campbell from Community
Vision and Chief inspector Karen Geddes, Chair of BAPA.
The innovative Humans of WMP will continue across the
force's Facebook and Instagram channels and be
archived in a special section on the West Midlands Police
Humans of WMP photograph exhibition
Chief Constable Dave Thompson, said: "I think people tend to see
us collectively as 'the police' - one entity that think, feel and
behave the same. But of course the West Midlands Police badge is
what unites a wide cross-section of people, from all walks of life,
and all with very different experiences and stories to tell.
"What we're hoping to show with Humans of WMP is the diverse
range of people who work collectively to keep the public safe. Some
will be poignant, revealing, emotional…others funny.
"I hope people find the first five profiles in our collection an
interesting read and we look forward to sharing more Humans of WMP
Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, said: "Individuals
from a variety of backgrounds make West Midlands Police what it is.
This exhibition shines a light on some of the individuals' stories
within the force."
"We are starting to see a real uptake in the numbers of BME
recruits (27%) in the most recent cohort of recruits. This is a
promising step in the right direction, but there is still much work