When Khizra Dhindsa won the Mosaic Talent Award for Community Leadership last year, she already had a successful career as a Sergeant with the West Midlands Police where she served as Diversity Champion for the Local Policing Unit. But even she did not anticipate what would follow from her recognition in the Awards. Let alone, that she would so quickly secure promotion to Inspector, with a move to London to the national lead for women’s engagement for a unit of the Association of Chief Police Officers!
In her career with the West Midlands Police, Khizra was noted for her passion and commitment. Her work in respect of the Matchbox Estate in Shard End, which had historically suffered from an extremely high level of crime and anti-social behaviour, is particularly noteworthy. When she took the area on in 2008, she decided enough was enough. As a result of Khizra’s strategies, crime and anti-social behaviour dropped by 42% on the estate. More importantly, there was a 33% increase in the number of residents now happy to live on the Estate.
It was these efforts and her optimistic and energetic personality that got her shortlisted for a Mosaic Talent Award, which she went on to win at the star-studded event at Battersea Power Station in November last year.
Soon after the Awards, Khizra got a phone call from the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, who spotted her at the Mosaic Talent Awards and she was nominated for the Public Sector Award. Khizra will find out whether she has won later in May.
Khizra’s efforts did not go unnoticed by her employers and she was put forward for the Police Woman of the Year award, organised by the British Association for Women in Policing, which resulted in a truly amazing nomination for the International Police Woman of the Year Award. Again, Khizra has to wait until later this year to discover if she has won.
This public recognition of her achievements alongside Khizra’s hard work and enthusiasm truly paid off when she was recently headhunted to become the National Lead for Women Engagement in London, where she is currently working as an Inspector.
As part of her new day job in London, Khizra devotes her time to Project Shanaz, which she initiated and which is named after her mother, who is an important role model in Khizra’s life. Project Shanaz commenced in April with the aims of identifying and amplifying the voices of diverse women across the country on the topic of preventing violent extremism, of overcoming barriers in communication and of providing platforms for women to participate as equals in decision-making, and the development of policy and strategy in an area of Policing which impacts upon them.
The project has some exciting goals set for 2011. The objective is to collate and disseminate national best practice on how meaningful engagement is being achieved in the UK and to provide national guidance incorporating a shared “Toolkit for Police Forces” by the end of the year.
Mosaic is proud to support Khizra in all her endeavours. She is a true inspiration to us and the many young people we work with.