UK’s top black female police officer, Dr Alison Heydari, visited University of Winchester students recently, discussing the Police Race Action Plan (PRAP).

Accommodating more than 90 policing, criminology and law students, she shed light on the force’s efforts towards improving trust with black communities.

Dr Heydari highlighted key racial events, emphasising the need for police awareness of resulting generational trauma.

PRAP’s main elements include fair treatment, involvement in governance, representation and support when victimised, for black people.

Acknowledging a need for more diversity within senior policing, she touched upon the Met police being branded ‘institutionally racist’ and called this recognition a sign of significant cultural shift.

Dr Heydari shared personal experiences of racism, whilst noting her white colleague’s protective reaction. Despite challenges, she maintains that policing is one of the most rewarding careers.

Lee Fryatt, lecturer in policing, said: "Policing finds itself at a pivotal moment, arguably the most challenging period since its inception. Continued inequalities and disproportionately in policing practices has eroded relationships and trust and confidence is at an all-time low.

"We are immensely privileged that Alison gave her time to speak to the next generation of potential police and criminal justice experts."