1996- The formation of BAPA

The murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 had a significant impact on the Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) community, both inside and outside of the police.

In 1994, the Metropolitan Black Police Assocation (BPA) was created, with the Commissioner of the time Sir Paul Condon declaring it was the only way forward in tackling the significant amounts of BME officers leaving police forces across the country.

On 1 January 1996, black officers and support staff met for the first time in West Midlands Police to explore their reality in the police service and to share their feelings and experiences openly. The basis of these discussions was to address the disproportionately high number of black officers leaving the service and from this an informal social network was established, which would later become the Black and Asian Police Assocation.

2012- A year of celebration

2012 was a big year for WMP and the UK as a whole, with three massive public events and a new elected official holding the Chief Constable to account.

The first major event took place across the region, as the Olympic Torch Relay passed through the West Midlands in late June and early July. Officers helped protect the torch as the public lined the streets to welcome it to the region. In addition, a special concert was held in Cannon Hill Park.

Then in mid-July, Queen Elizabeth II visited the area as part of her Diamond Jubilee Tour. Arriving at Snow Hill, she toured Birmingham City Centre before going to on to name the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The final big event of the summer was the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, taking place between July and September. Officers were deployed across the country as the action gripped the country, with the City of Coventry Stadium (Ricoh Arena) hosting some of the football events, including the GB women’s team’s quarter final against Canada. The feel good factor was felt by fans and officers alike.

Finally, in November, a historic first took place, as 41 men and women across the country were elected Police and Crime Commissioners. Bob Jones beat six other candidates to be the first elected PCC in the West Midlands.