I’m currently  the Brentwood and Epping Forest District Commander, I’ve been a police officer since 2000 and have performed a number of covert roles that have led to numerous achievements I’d enjoy speaking about, but can’t in detail. These include contributing to evidence cases leading to the imprisonment of terrorists, firearm traffickers and other organised criminals.

What I’d really like to speak about is the importance of Independent Advisory Groups (IAGs). IAGs were formed following the release of the MacPherson Report in response to the murder of Stephen Lawrence, an experience policing continues to learn from. Members of IAGs represent their local community to challenge, voice concerns, and shape and influence policing.

All groups within society must be listened to, such as those with protected characteristics or those who represent people living in deprived areas or rural communities.

The police strive to understand what the public want and need, and the IAG is one of the best platforms for people to share concerns, raise issues and challenge, to make a real difference to the way communities are policed.

The We Value Difference campaign in Essex Police is so important, because what better way to understand our diverse communities than to have people from all backgrounds working as police officers, staff and volunteers so they can influence from within and bring those diverse perspectives, creative ideas and experiences.