SHABNAM CHAUDRI is a classic example of how an immigrant can have a very positive impact on their local community – and last week she was presented with an “Outstanding Contribution” award by Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman at the No2H8 Crime Awards.
Detective Superintendent Chaudhri was born in Pakistan and came to the UK at the ge of two. She grew up in Newham before joining the Met in 1989. As a Met police officer, she served in every East London Borough.
The award was given to DS Chaudhri in recognition of her work engaging parts of the community which have traditionally been hard to reach – such as women – and/or have traditionally distrusted the police – such as young male gangs. DS Chaudri has helped those groups to respect their own identities and give voice to their concerns – especially when it comes to standing up against hate crime.
DS Chaudri’s work with women includes raising awareness of domestic abuse and, through empowerment presentations, she has shown how the Met will support those who report domestic abuse or other hate crime against women – even if they have had little contact with the police before. Last year she led a workshop attended by over 400 young women aged 14-25 which discussed subjects such as forced marriage and honour-based violence.
Her work with young people in Newham and other parts of East London has seen her helping to build up relations between the police and local communities based on mutual respect. It also led her to her current post as the Met’s Faith and Partnership Lead at New Scotland Yard. DS Chaudri, the only Muslim female detective in the Met and the only Muslim female Detective Superintendent in the UK, was recently promoted to Superintendent and is waiting to see where this new recognition of her work will lead.
Detective Superintendent Chaudhri said, “This has been quite a journey, but it’s moments like this when you are recognised for your work, commitment and passion that just reinforce the importance of working with partners to build stronger links with diverse communities to make them feel safer in the places where they live, work or travel. I am incredibly proud to receive this award, equally there are many, many officers who are as committed and work exceptionally hard to make London safer, and I’m proud to serve the Met and be a part of that team.”
Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, Head of Community Engagement for the Met, said, “I’m really proud that Shabnam’s passion and commitment to tackling hate crime has been recognised at this very prestigious national event. The award is for those people who go the extra mile and much of the work for which Shabnam has been recognised was done in her own time, over the course of several years, on top of very demanding operational roles.”