UK media ‘mischievous’ over police diversity film
The British media were branded “highly mischievous” yesterday by Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police, after articles ran in two leading newspapers on a video that featured senior Bermudian officers.
The video, reported on by The Times and the Daily Mail, was produced by the Police Superintendents Association, and included Superintendents Na'imah Astwood and James Howard from Bermuda.
The video, designed to promote diversity and released late last year, was said to be “misleading” by a source in the Daily Mail as the two officers, both of whom are black, were not from Britain.
But Mr Corbishley said criticism of the video was wrong.
He added: “It is not a recruitment video as claimed by the Daily Mail, its title is, in fact, As One We Serve and delivers a powerful message that policing is very much dependent on the service reflecting its communities through diverse representation.”
He said: “I was delighted for Superintendents Astwood and Howard to be involved, both for its important message, but also as the Superintendents Association is a fantastic body that seeks to develop and support senior police leaders, not just in the UK, but here in Bermuda.”
Ms Astwood is the chairwoman of the association in Bermuda, while Mr Howard is the secretary.
Mr Corbishley said their membership allowed them to attend the conference, held last year, at no cost to the Bermuda Police Service.
He said that “the information and ideas discussed were brought back to the benefit of policing in Bermuda”.
The two officers were asked to appear in the video because the PSA's membership includes Bermuda.
Mr Corbishley said: “I was aware of the video, and I see it now, as I did then, as providing an important message that as a community police service, we need diversity.
“I feel it was highly mischievous of the Daily Mail to suggest that it was a negative video.”
Both papers reported that the two were the only black officers to be featured in the video — which highlighted the low numbers of black British officers.
The PSA is made up of “serving police officers who are superintendents or chief superintendents in one of the 43 Home Office England and Wales forces, the British Transport Police, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Isle of Man Police or Bermuda Police”.
The PSA, based in Berkshire, England, will hold its 2020 conference next month on “Covid-19 and beyond: Policing the new normal”.