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Hertfordshire Police Federation

‘I joined the Force to challenge cultural expectations’

4 March 2021

An officer who joined the Force to challenge the expectations of his family says it is “crucial” the Federation has cultural understanding as he explains the reason behind him becoming a workplace representative. 

PC Irfan Ishaq, who is now a community engagement officer, joined the Force in 1999 because it was a different path to what was expected of him by his family.

“This was not the preferred career choice within our culture,” says Irfan who was initially based on intervention at St Albans.

In the hope of bringing cultural awareness to the Federation, he became a workplace representative more than seven years ago.

“I was keen to bring a degree of cultural competency to the group,” says Irfan, who has a particular interest in looking at disproportionality and how PSD deals with black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) officers,” Irfan explains.

“Some Federation reps in the past lacked the ability to understand the diverse needs of individuals within the workforce and were not able to relate to others simply because they had not walked in their shoes. By being part of the team, it allowed me to help bridge any gaps and provide a better support network for other Fed reps. I bring a degree of cultural understanding and having that competency across the board is crucial.”

He adds: “I enjoy meeting the needs of the members and being able to represent those who are unable to make challenges for themselves. I can be their voice and find that rewarding.”

Looking back on his career, he says one of the biggest highlights was meeting the American political activist, the Reverend Jesse Jackson at a community event.

“I’ll also never forget an incident where I assisted in rescuing a 12-year-old, who was knocked over by a car and then trapped underneath,” said Irfan.

“I provided support to the child and liaised with the emergency services, before assisting all the way to hospital.”





September 2022