October celebrates Black History Month and recognises all the amazing achievements our black community has made in our society.
The Met police is also celebrating and recognising the fantastic contributions made by their black officers serving the London community.
The Met has some of the best officers in the country that work tirelessly across London everyday protecting and serving our community.
Today, as part of the Behind the Badge campaign, the Havering Daily has spoken to East Area Inspector Julian Bertie.
Mr Bertie has been a police officer for twenty two years and has always been a front line worker, dealing with the public everyday. He is now based in Barking and Dagenham where he is an Inspector on a response team dealing with 999 calls. He is also a mentor and great role model for new officers joining the job.
“When I first joined this job the majority of my friends and family were very positive. Some did ask me why I wanted to join and the answer is simple. In order to change an organisation and their perceptions you have to be in it. That is why I joined.
“Now I am involved in a local East Area initiative called ‘Step Up’ that provides support for new recruits, especially black officers. It is a great network that has been set up to support our new officers that may face challenges on the street. It was set up following the BLM protests where unfortunately a small minority of the black community abused us for doing this job.
“We got called terrible names such a coconut, Bounty, or called sell outs. Ultimately the Mayor of London and our Commissioner want the Met to be a representative of its community they serve, that is why we have joined and are out there making a difference.”
It hasn’t been an easy ride for Mr Bertie who at times who has faced challenges from the community.
“Perceptions have always been positive when we attend a call. Things become difficult when there is a break up in communication and then it can cause animosity from the public. However, if you explain the reasons why you are doing the actions you are,the community understands the reasons why the police are taking those actions. Most of the community are really pleased to see black officers on our streets.”
Mr Bertie is trained at a high level having been an officer in the Territorial Support Group where he under took public order training, rapid entry courses and counter terrorism courses. He was also one of the initial responders to the London Bridge attack.
Today we celebrate the amazing contributions Mr Bertie and other officers have made in our community.
“Black History month allows us time to recognise the contributions black people have made in our society and to encourage others to make their mark and achieve their goals.
“If you are interested in joining the Met Police please go for it! The more BAME officers we have in the job, the better we can serve our community.
“As a black officer I have faced racial abuse, but not from my colleagues but from a small minority of the public who can call us unpleasant names. Fortunately most people are pleased to see us on the streets and recognise the contributions we are making to the job.”
Inspector Bertie is an officer the Met can be proud of and a great role model to many other officers out there who do a fantastic job in our community, literally saving peoples lives.
In his spare time, Mr Bertie likes to visit the Caribbean and go paddle boarding and spend time with his partner and children. And here is an interesting fact, he also has a very famous cousin by the name of Brian Lara!
Inspector Bertie has made his mark on our community by being an outstanding role model for others and serves the community everyday protecting Londoners. We celebrate his contribution for Black History Month and everyday and thank him and his colleagues for their dedication and hardwork.
Let us take the time today to thank all our BAME officers in the Met doing fantastic work in our community.