New po­lice chief is aim­ing to be force’s di­ver­sity cham­pion

Rochdale Observer - - TIME-TRIP - Neal.keeling@men-news.co.uk @neal­keel­ingMEN

THERE is no doubt Mabs Hus­sain is a mar­que ‘sign­ing’ for Greater Manch­ester Po­lice.

He has crossed the Pen­nines af­ter an im­pres­sive 22-year ca­reer in West York­shire to be­come this re­gion’s high­est-rank­ing Asian of­fi­cer as its new as­sis­tant chief con­sta­ble.

He was sworn in this week, just five months af­ter Chief Con­sta­ble Ian Hop­kins said he in­tended to step up re­cruit­ment of eth­nic mi­nor­ity of­fi­cers in the wake of the Arena bomb.

His Twit­ter posts and blog in­di­cate that he ticks ev­ery box in terms of a shin­ing ex­am­ple of what can be achieved – the son of hard-work­ing Pak­istani mi­grants who against the odds climbed to the higher ech­e­lons of Bri­tain’s po­lice.

He was awarded an MBE this year for ser­vices to polic­ing and char­ity.

The 45-year-old fa­therof-two said he joined the po­lice ‘to make a dif­fer­ence’ and be­lieves there is more to do in terms of the num­ber of Asian and eth­nic mi­nor­ity of­fi­cers.

He said: “A lot is be­ing done, but there is def­i­nitely much more to do.

“In terms of polic­ing na­tion­ally to rep­re­sent the com­mu­ni­ties we serve and to ful­fil the prin­ci­pal of polic­ing by con­sent.

“Why wouldn’t you want peo­ple that look dif­fer­ent, think dif­fer­ently, have dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences, cul­tures, who can then con­tribute to what we are try­ing to do, which is give a bet­ter ser­vice?

“At GMP, I am re­ally en­cour­aged with the work that has been done to in­crease the di­ver­sity of the work­force and that was one of the rea­sons that I was at­tracted to GMP.

“Ian Hop­kins, as chief con­sta­ble, has taken a per­sonal lead­er­ship on this agenda. We can’t be com­pla­cent but GMP are on the right path.”

There are cur­rently 241 Asian of­fi­cers serv­ing in GMP – 3.8 per cent of the force.

This is up from 3.2pc in Au­gust 2017.

The num­ber of black and eth­nic mi­nor­ity of­fi­cers is 454 – 7.1pc – up from 6.3pc.

ACC Hus­sain, one of five chil­dren raised in Brad­ford, be­lieves there is a re­spect from the Asian com­mu­nity for GMP.

He said: “I come from an Asian com­mu­nity and when I first joined there was a lot of ap­pre­hen­sion around me be­ing an Asian of­fi­cer in the po­lice and I got called cer­tain names by mem­bers of the Asian com­mu­nity ask­ing ‘why would you want to join the ser­vice that doesn’t re­spect us, and won’t re­spect you... you must be a fool’.

“But what I have shown is that de­spite the chal­lenges I have had – which can be unique if you come from my back­ground – I have al­ways had a strong work ethic, but I have never set out to be any­thing other than the rank I have been.

“When I was a Pc I never set out to be any­thing more than a 30-year Pc.”

ACC Hus­sain says he will seize the op­por­tu­nity to do more to help di­ver­sify GMP’s work­force.

He said: “It is in­cum­bent in all of us in po­si­tions of trust and lead­er­ship to play our part to im­prove work­force rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

“To make sure we get the best out of our peo­ple, ir­re­spec­tive of back­ground.”

De­spite his high-pro­file polic­ing role, ACC Hus­sain says he and his fam­ily get stopped on trips to the US.

He said: “I do get stopped reg­u­larly, in par­tic­u­lar fly­ing to the States – my brother lives in Amer­ica and I do visit him reg­u­larly.

“I have been taken off a flight, be­cause they for­got to check me get­ting onto a flight, which was rather em­bar­rass­ing.

“It does frus­trate me. I can un­der­stand the rea­son for check­ing peo­ple who fit a cer­tain age group, eth­nic­ity and pro­file. But it does an­noy me that it is hap­pen­ing so of­ten.

“As a re­sult I did write to Home­land Se­cu­rity.

“The di­rec­tor gen­eral replied say­ing they couldn’t con­firm or deny if I was on any in­ter­na­tional list.

“I have what they call a re­dress num­ber, which I can use when I fly, which they say should hope­fully limit the level of in­con­ve­nience caused.

“You have to go with the flow.

“It is frus­trat­ing. But peo­ple have a job to do.

“Fly­ing out of Amer­ica I still get stopped. I usu­ally get told my name has been flagged up, and to ex­pect some de­lay.

“I don’t mind se­cu­rity checks, it shows we are tak­ing ter­ror­ism se­ri­ously.”

ACC Hus­sain ad­mits the state of race re­la­tions in the UK are cur­rently ‘chal­leng­ing’.

He said: “I think it is chal­leng­ing at the mo­ment, be­cause of in­ter­na­tional and na­tional events, as a re­sult of Brexit, that has in­creased ten­sions be­tween com­mu­ni­ties.

“We know as a po­lice force in Greater Manch­ester the in­crease in hate crime as a re­sult and Is­lama­pho­bia af­ter the Arena at­tack.

“Ev­ery­one has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence in where peo­ple come from, their views.

“We should re­spect peo­ple’s views and back­grounds and their con­tri­bu­tion to so­ci­ety.

“What we can’t do is iso­late one com­mu­nity and say they should make more ef­fort to in­te­grate.

“I do think there are chal­lenges and we have got to do more as a pub­lic ser­vice to en­sure we do our best to in­crease con­fi­dence in com­mu­ni­ties.”

●●Mabs Hus­sain is GMP’s new as­sis­tant chief con­sta­ble

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