“I’M INCREDIBLY honoured to be nominated, let alone be shortlisted,” said PC Ben Forbes in response to the news that he is one of eight people from across the UK to have been shortlisted for a National Diversity Award.
PC Forbes, who is attached to the Metropolitan Police Transformation Directorate, was nominated on the basis of his blog, A copper’s tale. In it he tells his own story: growing up in inner London with mixed Caribbean and British heritage – getting in trouble at school; dealing with peer pressure; how his local Met Police Partnership Team and his school tried, unsuccessfully to change his behaviour; until, finally, joining a youth diversionary sports programme set him upon a more positive path that eventually led to the Met and working as a Trident partnership officer.
The blog was first published internally in December 2016, which saw him receive over 5,000 hits and 150 emails from colleagues across the Met. It was then published externally, highlighting his story to a wider audience, with many people contacting him via social media. Now, as a Trident officer, PC Forbes uses his experiences and mistakes to support young people in making better decisions than he did as a teenager.
PC Forbes has been shortlisted for the “Positive role model for Race, Religion and Faith” award. He explained how the blog and his work are linked, saying, “I’m able to use my story, my journey and my mistakes to connect and make a real difference to young people and adults across London as a whole. We’re all unique, with our own backgrounds and stories to tell. Being nominated shows that no matter what background or community you’re from, each with different challenges, that with determination, passion and drive, you can overcome anything and really make a difference.”
Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, said: “Through self-reflection of his childhood experiences and his clear ability to make the most of the positive support and opportunities that were offered to him, Ben developed the attributes that help to make a good police officer: fair and firm in delivering policing services; showing understanding of the complexity of the lives of young people and being prepared to deliver policing services in a caring and compassionate way. Ben is a credit to the young generation of police officers helping to keep the people of London safe.”
•Read PC Forbes blog here:
•Set up in 2014, the The Diversity Group’s awards celebrate the achievements of those committed to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion – irrespective of race, faith, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability and culture.
The winners of the 2017 awards were announced at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on 8th September. The winner of the Positive Role Model Award for Race, Religion and Faith was Morenike Ajayi, who mentors young people and has set up Career Nuggets to encourage black people to find the tools to succeed in their chosen careers.