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New programme director for Race Action Plan

T/Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dr Alison Heydari has been appointed today.

The Police Race Action Plan once more has a Programme Director at the helm following an appointment made today.

T/Deputy Assistant Commissioner Dr Alison Heydari has been appointed in the position on a permanent basis.

It follows the previous director, DCC Tyron Joyce, retiring back in May amid bullying allegations.

The plan was launched in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd and the resulting Black Lives Matter movement. CC Amanda Pearson had led the programme initially.

T/DAC Heydari began her policing career in 2000 as a student officer in Hampshire and was enrolled onto the Home Office Accelerated Promotion Scheme for Graduates - she was promoted to Sergeant with just over two years' service. She is now the most senior Black female officer in the UK.

Her operational experience has been complemented by secondments to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue and teaching at John Jay College of Criminal Justice New York.

She joined the Met in June 2020, serving as a frontline policing Commander.

She said: “Policing has come a long way over my 23 year policing career, we are now more inclusive and diverse than we have ever been. However, there is still much to be done to remove all discrimination and gain the trust and confidence of our Black staff and members of the public.

“I am honoured to take on the role of Programme Director. It is vital, for the fundamental legitimacy of UK policing, that we achieve the commitments of the Police Race Action Plan.

“At the core of the Plan, is the recognition that we need to involve Black people and to listen to their views at every stage of activity undertaken.

“The Plan is rightly ambitious and challenging. Inviting Black people, stakeholders, and ISOB to directly scrutinise pilots, evaluations, policies, practices and procedures is a new way of working for policing, and one I am proud to be part of delivering. It is only when we involve those who are most effected by our activity, to work with us on trialling new ways of working, that we can authentically achieve progress.

“Racism still exists in policing and that is unacceptable. Recent reports such as the Casey Review and media reports of racist incidents, highlight how important it is that we now work at pace to achieve change for Black people.”

Independent Scrutiny and Oversight Chair, Abimbola Johnson, said: “We welcome the appointment of Dr Alison Heydari as the new Programme Director for the Race Action Plan.  This fills an important vacancy in the Programme structure where key leadership is required. We hope that Dr Heydari will provide a fresh perspective on the Plan that will incorporate the innovative thinking required to deliver its anti-racist goal.”

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