The winner of the 2017 Asian Achiever’s Award in the Uniform and Civil Category is Kulbir Pasricha, now Kent Police’s Deputy Lead for Domestic Abuse, Prevent and Hate Crime. We take a look at how she got to do this job and why she does it.
Kulbir was born in Middlesex in the 1970s. Her parents arrived from India a few years earlier but had a hard time, and were not wealthy. The parents said that they found a racist atmosphere in the UK during that period.
Kulbir is Sikh and her late father wore a beard and turban. Both her parents had degrees but could not get paid professional work. So they took up self-employment.
Kulbir Pasricha is a carer for her mother, who is also her inspiration. Kulbir Pasricha worked her way up the NHS career ladder from a personnel assistant to HR manager while studying part time.
Why Kent Police?
In 1998, Kulbir joined Kent Police, believing that the fundamental role of policing is to protect the vulnerable. Her career spanned being a central crime reporting unit investigator, a Family Liaison Officer, Trauma Risk Management Practitioner and Critical Incident Advisor.
Kulbir says that the rise in hate crime nationally mirrors trends following other major national or international events.
“There are other factors that may have contributed to the increase, including the increased awareness of third party and reporting mechanisms. Our engagement with communities increased trust and confidence, and there was an increased awareness in the media.
Anyone who thinks they may have experienced or witnessed hate crime can report it by calling the Police on 101, ontacting Crimestoppers or using our True Vision website (www.report-it.org.uk) where you can also find advice about staying safe. Deaf or speech-impaired people can text message the word ‘police’ then leave a space and write their message and send it to 60066. We have translators where required.”
Terrorism and Preventing Radicalisation
Kulbir says that defeating terrorism is everyone’s responsibility but there is a need to understand what factors make someone vulnerable to radicalisation and provide support early on.
“Terrorism is aimed at dividing communities and causing hatred. It is important we stand together in countering hate and intolerance. Reporting anything suspicious early on is vital. Stay alert and not alarmed but if anyone finds themselves in the middle of a terror incident, then stay safe principles on www.gov.uk are to RUN, HIDE, TELL.
There is a new website called “Let’s talk about it” which aims to stop people becoming radicalised and drawn into terrorism by highlighting how to spot signs, get support early on and how to stay safe on line.”
Kulbir Pasricha says, “There is no excuse, cultural or otherwise, for Domestic Abuse. No religion condones domestic abuse. It is unlawful and wrong to force somebody to marry against his or her will.”
We know that community silence is a major barrier to tackling Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriages so it was really important to get across the seriousness of these crimes, and emphasise the secure and confidential way in which we manage any concerns reported to us.
Kulbir sends a plea out through this column.
“I ask you, the community, to help me protect these individuals. To speak out against those criminals/ offenders who believe it is acceptable to harm another human being. Those offending use cultural difference to hide their acts, to hide their victims. They rely on others and a sense of false loyalty to assist them. Please do not be silent, speak out, and help those who may not be able to help themselves.”
Acid attacks causing concerns with the Asian Community
Kulbir Pasricha says, “There are concerns from the Asian community around the increased acid attacks and advice the police and NHS can provide. This type of assault remains rare but it has been recognised nationally that there has been an increase in the use of corrosive chemicals such as acids and alkalis in attacks.
The one report we have had in Kent relates to gang issues. However the advice is if someone has acid sprayed on them then they should
1) Report through 999,
2) Remove (Contaminated clothing should be carefully removed and affected skin rinsed in running water until help arrives) and
3) Rinse with plenty of water.
Always dial 999 if there is an emergency, crime is in progress or life is in danger.”
On her own philosophy of life, Kulbir says, “From here I will continue to empower, encourage and involve others to make a difference in the world of policing.”