The Queen’s voluntary award winning initiative Spice Village Uplyft recently hosted the inaugural South Asian MET Outreach Recognition Awards at the Grand Sapphire Venue in Croydon.

The event commenced with guest arrivals and registration in the afternoon, followed by a networking and engagement session where attendees, including senior MET officials and notable community members, mingled and discussed various topics over nibbles and drinks. The press briefing hub provided a platform for selected MET officers and community leaders to address the media, highlighting the New MET’s exceptional services and dedication to fostering a new, inclusive culture within the force.

At 7:10 PM, the national anthem of Great Britain was played, marking the official start of the awards ceremony. The presenters introduced the event, outlining the objectives of the outreach program and emphasising the importance of safety, unity, and diversity. Guest speakers Croydon Superintendent Mitch Carr, Croydon A/Chief Inspector James Weston delivered speeches commending the MET’s efforts in crime prevention and community engagement, other guests Bromley Superintendent Luke Baldock, Sutton Chief Inspector Katie Woods, Bromley Inspector Michelle Pryal, Deputy Lead Renee Griffiths, All Boroughs Strategic Leads and Community leaders and high achievers from the South Asian communities including Indian, Pakistani and Bengali origin spoke at the occasion and appreciated the New MET initiatives.

The event also featured a Q&A session, where senior MET leaders and community representatives addressed concerns and answered questions from the audience. This interactive segment aimed to foster open dialogue and build trust between the MET and the South Asian community and encourage the South Asian communities to join the MET as an inclusive force.

The highlight of the evening was the gala dinner and awards ceremony, where outstanding MET officers were recognised for their exceptional service. The awards were presented to officers who have made significant dedication to maintaining London’s safety and security, with a particular focus on those who have engaged effectively with the South Asian community.

Suleman Raza MBE expressed his satisfaction with the event, stating, ” As a founder of the Spice Village Uplyft that was awarded the highest volunteering award QAVS by the late Her Majesty, I must emphasise that today, we stand at a crossroads of transformation and opportunity. The MET’s commitment to inclusivity isn’t just a response to past challenges but a beacon guiding us towards a safer, more harmonious London. This evening has been a testament to the MET’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity. We have celebrated the achievements of those who have dedicated their lives to making London a safer and more harmonious place.” Arif Anis MBE added, “The South Asian MET Outreach Recognition Awards have not only recognised outstanding service but also fostered trust and collaboration between the MET and the South Asian community. Our aim is to build bridges between the communities and the state institutions based upon trust and inclusiveness”

The event concluded with individual photo sessions for the awardees, capturing memorable moments with senior MET officials and community members. The success of this event is expected to strengthen relationships between the MET and the South Asian community, increase awareness and trust in the MET’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and enhance the visibility of career opportunities within the MET for BAME individuals.

Overall, the South Asian MET Outreach Recognition Awards have set a precedent for future initiatives aimed at promoting unity and diversity within the Metropolitan Police Service, paving the way for a more inclusive and representative police force in London.

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