Students quizzed ethnic minority police officers in Hammersmith and Fulham today (October 17) on a variety of controversial issues as part of Black History Month.
Psychology pupils from William Morris Sixth Form in Hammersmith spent the morning talking to a panel of officers, including Borough Commander, Chief Superintendant Gideon Springer who was the only black police officer in his team when he started with the Met in Tottenham.
The 40 students aged 16 to 18 put the panel to task by asking them about issues such as stop-and-search and knife crime.
Officers spoke of their personal experiences while working for the Met and how the organisation has adapted to the diversity of its workforce.
Chief Superintendant Springer, said: “Today is all about addressing any damaging myths about policing, and how we, as an organisation continue to build trust and confidence with young Londoners. We want to hear the views and concerns of young people, but we also want to hear what we are doing right.
“Today has also been a fitting opportunity to talk about my personal experiences as a black officer, and my journey from being a Constable patrolling the streets, to being a Chief Superintendant in charge of a borough.
"Positive attitudes towards the police clearly come from mutual respect, understanding and listening. These are attributes which form the foundation of our work. This is just the start of a long term commitment in building trust and confidence with our entire young community, regardless of their backgrounds and views.”
PC Leon Coltress helped organise the event and said he wanted to because it was a similar talk he had as a student which inspired him to join the Met.
“This is one of the most rewarding jobs around and I hope our young audience today is inspired to make the right choices in life an be the best they can be,” he added.