Avon and Somerset Police are proud that our colleague Sergeant Aqil Farooq has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to policing and communities in His Majesty The King’s first Birthday Honours list.
For 20 years PS Farooq has carried out invaluable work supporting and guiding the constabulary as we seek to build confidence in policing and ensure that our workforce reflects the diverse communities that we serve.
He’s also been a member, General Secretary, Deputy Chair and was most recently, Chair of the Avon and Somerset Black Police Association (BPA – since renamed Reach) – and all alongside his day job as an operational police officer.
Aqil’s work has helped to deliver a 25 per cent increase in the number of police officers and staff recruited from underrepresented communities since 2015.
He also had a key role in setting up the very first faith Advisory Group in the UK, forging partnerships with mosques and other religious establishments across the Avon and Somerset policing area, empowering faith groups to tackle issues such as crime prevention, security and confidence in policing.
Under his leadership, the BPA outreach team won the National Lord Ferrer’s Volunteer Team Award in 2021. These youngsters were recognised for their work in engaging with diverse communities to break down barriers and build trust and confidence, including delivering interactive workshops to raise awareness among young people of the possible consequences of carrying a knife.
PS Farooq also held a regional position for four years, supporting the Black Police Associations of seven forces with strategy around common themes such as recruitment and retention as well as good practice initiatives.
Aqil also received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for the personal commitments he made over a substantial part of his career, putting the organisation and his colleagues before himself.
Although he has now stepped down from the BPA executive, he continues to provide a valuable additional contribution to policing by bringing his insight to many working groups to help improve areas of concern.