Samantha was recently promoted to Cultural Intelligence Lead – Inspector, staff equivalent after more than 19 years as a Fingerprint Identification Officer. She still supports the work across Joint Protective Services (JPS) endeavouring to improve representation in this area including in Specialist Operations and Forensic Services.  Samantha has over 21 years’ service in Policing which she loves, after being encouraged to join by Officers she worked with in Forensic Mental Health, where her specialism was in cross-cultural psychiatry.  Samantha joined the Metropolitan Police in 2001 at New Scotland Yard’s Fingerprint Bureau; she was the only Black woman in her cohort of trainee Fingerprint Examiners, and only 1 of 2 people from a diverse background. 

Proud daughter to hardworking Parents who came to the UK on HMS Empire Windrush, Samantha, now a married mother of two herself, was taught by her late Father that “education comes first & never be deterred by being the ‘only one’ (as he often was) your actions speak louder than words.”  Sam speaks of her late Mother as being ‘the first’ powerful Woman of Colour, her role model, in her life.  She taught her ‘do not be defined by your skin but by your actions.’ Driven by the ethics of her Parents, Samantha went on to qualify as a Fingerprint Expert overcoming many barriers, including becoming disabled.  As well as this she has worked across many areas including Volume Crime, Murder Unit, Mortuary, Counter Terror & on the 7th of July 2005, the London bombings shaped how crucial intersectionality education was needed, as was proper access for people with disabilities when Samantha, expecting at that time of the bombings, became a recipient of both racial and disability discrimination.  She became an Advocate across this platform as a result of it. 

She joined BCH in 2017 with Hertfordshire Constabulary before transferring to Bedfordshire Police in 2018 joining the Scientific Support Unit again as a Fingerprint Identification Officer. In 2020, Samantha joined JPS Command on secondment due to covid19, she collaborated on the evidence gathering for BCH’s submission to become Disability Confident Leaders, which led to them being awarded Leader status in 2021; also, being nominated & finalists, for a Business Disability Smart Workplace Adjustment Award.  BCH is one of only 5 Police Forces to achieve Leader status.  More recently, in her portfolio of Positive Action and Inclusion, she helped design the tri-force’s Inclusion & Race Program a call to action to authentically be an anti-racist force; not only continued courageous conversations internally but with our Communities building cohesion.

Samantha joined forces with PC Sandra Smith Founder of Women of Colour in Policing where she is Assistant Lead.  The work here is to support women of colour on their journey, push through the barriers which present themselves and also ensure the organisations removes these barriers, addressing under-representation from attraction, recruitment to retention, progression and development.  The ‘burden of one’ experienced by so many women across forces, in fact industries, has seen the work of WoCiP elevate at pace as WoCiP help tackle this. Samantha has experienced this and the double-bias as many women have, multiple times; the splendid work WoCiP is doing is to let women know they are not alone, and support is here for them, wherever they are based.  As we support women of colour and this includes women where English is not their first language, we are building up our Young WoCiP Influencers who are being nurtured by some of our women as they extend the hand to them and as the YWI support us with encouraging young women to join Specialist Policing and to engage with the Police in order to change the narrative.  They are flipping the script in the dialogue used to communicate between Policing and young people especially across social media.  These innovators are this ‘next’ generation in Policing.

As an Ambassador for the Met. Police Christian Police Association, her faith helps her daily, and she is also Secretary for Beds International Police Ass (IPA), a Sycamore Tree & Restorative Justice Facilitator for Prison Fellowship England & Wales, member of Disability Rights UK & the Howard League for Penal Reform, where she has witnessed the effects & layers of discrimination & hate across the criminal justice system & in diverse & Ethnic Minority communities, and how this holds people back, especially women of colour, but she demands change and is working tirelessly to be part of this using positive action which shows how we can have representation in Specialist Operations, more Fingerprint and Forensic experts of colour especially more women “We have unashamedly, arrived phenomenal women and men” Samantha says, “& courage is required of us all to speak out against inequality of any kind in our own voices, so in the words of Rosa Parks when asked to move out of a segregated bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama – “No” because as Ms. Parks said “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right” & I strive to see a world where barriers are pulled down; so, I say ‘No’ to bias; for if not now – then, when?”   It is an honour to be part of WoCiP and to see one woman’s journey change for the better, is the direct action needed to carry on until we have authentic inclusion.

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