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It?s an honour to be inspiring, says female Sikh superintendent

UK?s biggest regional force appoints firearms and public order commander to new role
Published - 16/09/2019 By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle

Harvi Khatkar is the first woman from a black or ethnic minority background to reach the rank of superintendent in West Midlands Police.

Supt Khatkar, who has 25 years' service, has been in a wide range of roles including neighbourhood policing, response, offender management and force incident manager. She is also a firearms and public order commander.

Supt Khatkar has made her mark across the region after spending time based in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

She was the most senior BAME officer in Wolverhampton before becoming part of the WMP2020 programme to help create a more modern, agile police force.

The officer – who is also the force’s business crime lead – says she does not consider herself a role model; although she hopes her achievement will inspire others to pursue their own ambitions of a police career.

She said: "It is a real privilege and I have been a police officer in the West Midlands for 25 years now and, although it hasn’t been without challenges getting to this point, I am delighted to have this opportunity.

"I do feel a sense of pride at being the first Asian woman to reach the rank of superintendent.

"We are a diverse police force with a range of different cultures so I have no doubt there will be many more women, and men, from a BAME background who will continue to rise through the force in future.

"If others see me as an inspiration then I am honoured, but the main thing is to follow your own ambitions, work hard to achieve them and be yourself."

Lancashire Deputy Chief Constable Sunita Gamblin – chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s Race, Religion and Belief group – is currently the highest-ranking female BAME officer.

Other senior-ranking female BAME officers include Superintendents Bhuphinder Rai from Thames Valley Police and the Met Police’s Parm Sandhu as well as retiring Detective Superintendent Shabnam Chaudhri, also with the London force.

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