In support of South Asian Heritage Month (SAHM), Northamptonshire Police is celebrating the work and contributions of officers and staff who proudly carry the police badge as British Asians.
SAHM was launched for the first time in July 2020 to celebrate the contributions of British South Asians to the UK’s economic fabric.
It runs from July 18 to August 17 and commemorates the cultures of the South Asian nations – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
This year we are sharing some unique perspectives from our own British Asians working with the Force, speaking about their lives and cultures.
Kasim Shah Digital User Technology Support Analyst
“The South Asian community, in its diversity of culture, languages, cuisine, spiritual teachings, in one way or another has influenced all of us, from the historical ‘Silk Road’ with its spices and one could say now the golden mile in Leicester. What makes me proud of the South Asian heritage with all its creativity, food and so on, is its deep-rooted foundation in faith and religion.
“Traditions and teachings can be found throughout the South Asian community be it Vaisakhi, Diwali, Eid, or more recently Ashura – the month commemorating the legacy of a man known by the name of Hussain who stood against injustice and tyranny. One of my favourite quotes from my tradition is from a man of piety and virtue known as Imam Ali, and highlights values we all stand by, he famously proclaimed: “A man is either your brother in faith – or your equal in humanity.”
“The teachings from this tradition have influenced me, like many others, giving us an identity and providing us with a sense of unity while bringing that community cohesion into the UK. Within the South Asian region, exist seven major religions and 30 plus cultures, we can find many of them here in the UK
“My career within IT started with Leicestershire Police through De Montfort while working as a placement student. The support I received as an ethnic minority, through the university and the Force, created ease rather than barriers. Later, after graduation, I continued my police career joining Northants Police where I also found support from my amazing team in User Operations influencing my ability to learn and improve my career.”
Kin Kaur FCR Training and Development Officer
“What I love most about my South Asian heritage is the food that my mother used to make, she was the most wonderful cook. She would sit in the kitchen to prepare curries that were full of flavour and desserts that would take almost all day to cook but nothing phased her. She resembled an artist completing her finest work. My dad organically grew all our vegetables and I remember how he enjoyed this as it reminded him of being back at home in the Punjab. He would often talk to his plants to encourage them to grow and as child I would find this quite funny!
“I also adore wearing the elegant Punjabi outfits that are often in beautiful bright colours! I feel privileged to wear a saree or a lengha when we attend a Punjabi wedding. Attending a Punjabi wedding is such an enjoyable experience, there is so much love and laughter in the air accompanied by delicious dishes from samosas to tandoori chicken whilst traditional bhangra music blasts through the room.
“My parents arrived in the UK, from the Punjab, in the 1960s and later I was born. As an Indian growing up, I was aware that I was learning to adapt my life between two very different cultures, but I enjoyed the exposure to both. I feel that I have a life built up of my respect for my Punjabi heritage combined with an appreciation of living in the UK.
“I’m bilingual, speaking fluent Punjabi and of course English but my mum came to the UK not speaking any English and this did cause her numerous barriers in daily life. My dad would write things down that she needed to say, and this was how she used to communicate. That said, she was a quick thinker, and her memory was exceptional to the point she would remember directions of travel even though she had made the trip only once while my dad was driving. Needless to say, my dad relied on my mum for directions, so we didn’t get lost!”
PCSO Ishnoor Singh Neighbourhood Policing Team
“I love the importance of family that is passed on in my culture. Family allows for a stable support system as you can always rely on them in good and especially, bad times. They help you get through and remind you why being positive is important.
“I was born in India in a state called Punjab and I lived there for 10 years. I still speak Hindi/ Punjabi with my family every day just to remind me of my blend in culture. When I first moved, I found it quite hard to adapt however I quickly found friends and I found most people to be very helpful and welcoming. This made my transition a lot smoother, and I am grateful for it.
“Helping serve people in need is the best feeling I have ever had. You get to be actively part of the solution. Being a PCSO allows the police to build a positive and a deeper connection with the community. I love my job. I get to talk to people and understand on a deeper level about their problems. I get to go to lots of different public events, give them reassurance and help them feel safer.”
From left to right: Digital User Technology Analyst Kasim Shah, FCR Training and Development Officer Kin Kaur and PCSO Ishnoor Singh
Northamptonshire Police has a strong commitment to equality and diversity, striving to employ a workforce that reflects the diverse communities we serve. We are currently recruiting, to find out more about the different roles and routes of entry available visit www.northants.police.uk/careers