When 23-year-old Khadeejah was growing up in Leicester, she recalls rarely seeing police officers that looked like her. “The main reason I joined the police was because it was a big deal for me to represent my community,” she says.
Having worked in Digital Marketing, Khadeejah Mansur had the feeling she wanted to do something different with her life.
And that desire led her to the door of policing- somewhere where she could make a difference and support the community.
Khadeejah joined the force in October 2020 through the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship scheme which sees her train on the job and earn while studying for a qualification at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
She is now starring in the new BBC Three show, Fresh Cops following young police officers and others through the highs and lows of joining the police. From crawling through doors to discover dead bodies to driving around in blue lights, the show gets to the heart of the reality of working on the front line of crime.
She said: “My friends and family have been really supportive of my decision to join Leicestershire Police and their advice was to just mentally prepare for the role.
“My confidence levels have increased no-end since joining as it forces you to get out of your comfort zone and develop.
“I’m most looking forward to building relationships within local communities and breaking down stereotypes.
“I’m keeping an open mind about where I will ultimately go in the force as there are just so many roles and specialisms in one career.
“Representation is important within the police as it inspires people on the outside to think, if that person can do it, then so can I.”
Since joining Khadeejah has also been part of an ongoing project to trial an operational police hijab for Muslim officers and she hopes to act as a role model for others.
She said: “Wearing the hijab had made me very comfortable and complements my uniform very well, it is comfortable and far from restricting. I am able to conduct my training just as well as everyone else and still be covered.
“I believe it is important to have it as part of our uniform to make other Muslim females aware that Leicestershire Police caters to all individuals needs especially with our uniform. Once fellow Muslim females see myself as a frontline hijab wearing officer I hope it will inspire them to look at a career in policing as there are no restrictions or setbacks.”
Both recognise that the police may not always have the best reputation among their individual communities. “People I speak to might not have always had positive experiences with officers. But we want them to realise not all of us are like that,” Khadeejah says. “It is so important to have officers of colour on the force that understand”.
The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) route into policing is an exciting opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to obtain a degree whilst working and earning a full salary as a police officer.
The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) programme is delivered in partnership with DMU and includes classroom delivery, practical application and tutorship. The programme will be split between the De Montfort University and our police headquarters in Enderby.
Posted on Thursday 3rd November 2022