'Celebrating the differences in our communities' is the theme of Black History Month for Hertfordshire Constabulary this year.

To kick Black History Month off, Wellspring Church Centre in Watford hosted 75 guests for an event full of music, speakers, worship, and food on October 1.

The event was organised by PC Sandra Smith in collaboration with Brick by Brick Communities CIC, and hosted by special guest DJ Elayne Smith

Chief Inspector Alicia Shaw, chairman of the Herts Black and Asian Police Association and the most senior BME officer in the force, talked about the importance of community cohesion and asked the audience to participate in working with the police.

PC Hari Hothi focussed on positive action and what support was available for those who wanted to join the force.

Music was provided by Hertfordshire Constabulary Chaplain Caroline Malcom, Caring Sharing Friends group, and Steel Pan in Motion.

Watford Observer:

Caring Sharing Friends

Pastor Tim Roberts spoke about recognising differences within communities while Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Police Cadets also addressed the audience.

Speaking about the event, PC Sandra Smith said: "I’d like to thank Andrea Hayes from Brick by Brick, who once again helped and supported me, and all of the organisations which took part. It was great to build on the success of last year and welcome even more guests."

Watford Observer:

The Caring and Sharing Friends cooked up a Caribbean lunch

Chief Inspector Alicia Shaw spoke at the event focusing on this year’s theme.

She said: "Once again PC Sandra Smith organised a fantastic event so a big thank you to her. The audience really enjoyed the speakers and music. It is really important that the Constabulary continues to support and celebrate Black History Month recognising the contribution that black people have made historically both within policing and outside of it."

Watford Observer:

Organisers - Tola Dabiri and Andrea Hayes, directors of Brick by Brick Communities, with PC Sandra Smith

Black History Month is a national initiative aimed at promoting knowledge of ‘Black History’ and disseminating knowledge of positive black contributions to Britain.