Sandra is the Acting Sergeant for Bedfordshire Police as the Positive Action Strategic Lead. Sandra has been in policing for over 5 years. She is passionate about bringing about change in the workforce and says that “Positive Action begins with recognising we are not all the same. We live in a world surrounded by diversity, and we need to be actively inclusive to ensure doors are opened for minorities within our force. Positive Action gives everyone the same chance to join the police, stay and thrive. Positive Action isn’t about numbers or box ticking, and it’s not about lowering standards or giving some people a leg up. It’s about finding, supporting, and holding onto the right people for the job regardless their background.”

Sandra’s current brainchild has been developing a movement called WoCiP – Women of Colour in Policing, which is gathering such momentum it’s being recognised nationally and talked about internationally.

The overall aim of the Women of Colour in Policing is to improve representation, development, progression, and retention of women from ethnic minority communities at all levels of policing.

WoCiP aims to make policy and procedural recommendations to the appropriate internal and external committees for consideration and implementation. WoCiP will also work to ensure Forces meet its obligations under The Equality Act and support the work of the NPCC ‘Women and Race Agenda’.

Sandra decided to focus on WoCiP because she recognised the lack of this group’s visibility in UK policing, and subsequently a lack of recognition for the vital contribution that women from ethnic minority communities make.

She said ‘We will celebrate our phenomenal women across policing and the allies who walk alongside us and give recognition for the vital contribution that women from ethnic minority communities make to policing – and in building a more representative service’.

Before Sandra joined Policing, she worked as a Senior Manager in Retail. As a Black, woman she was always passionate about supporting a diverse workforce. Working in Ireland, environments that were challenging and not diverse, she changed the way staff we recruited and employed staff from diverse communities to better represent her customer base.

Sandra has received police commendations, community nominations and awards for all her work engaging with diversity and making a real difference in the communities she has served. Her ambition has always been and will continue to be to create a fair and more effective force. That’s better for us as individuals, better for us as a team and better for the people we serve. Having a greater balance helps us to forge and maintain good relationships with our communities. Everyone should be on a level playing field before, during and after joining any job. Positive Action helps us achieve this and it is everyone’s responsibility to ‘Be You’ and to ‘Be Inclusive’.

WoCiP is across tri-force Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire and have now been adopted at National level by the National Platform in the Police.

The BLAC Awards