Stanford Wills Bean joined WMP in 1975 and retired as a sergeant in 1999. He sadly died in 2007. Last year we celebrated 20 years of the Black and Asian Police Association, an organisation Stan played a fundamental part in creating.
Stan’s daughter Jennifer found a folder her father kept of his career achievements after he passed away – including his exemplary discharge certificate from the British Army. In this folder she found a copy of a report he had written to all black and Asian police officers about the creation of a Black Police Association. The report is dated 29th November 1994.
In the report, by way of introduction, Stan explained that he joined the force in 1975 aged 27, after completing 10 years exemplary military service. He explained that for all his service, it has been based in Birmingham (central & inner city). At 11 years’ service he was promoted to sergeant and posted to Queens Road. He then spent 6 years as a sergeant within the Community Service Department and then before he retired, the custody block at Steelhouse lane. He also explained that he had interest in working on the OSU and Scenes of Crime Department, but was unsuccessful in gaining attachments to those respective departments.
In the report Stan stated ‘The police service has come a long way since 1975, but there is still room for improvement.’ He added ‘some of you might be reluctant to even contemplate forming a black police association in this force. Because of numerous reasons, for example you don’t want to be seen as a trouble maker, worried that joining an association would have a detrimental impact on career prospects.’
In his report Stan recognised the difficulties of creating and launching such an association, as many black officers are apprehensive about socialising with each other or even mixing with the black community. He wrote ‘a positive attitude is required from you because Black and Asian officers’ experiences inside and outside the service are unique’.
Stan went on to explain the remit of the Black Police Association and reinforced that the association does not intend to replace statutory staff associations. He outlined the areas the association would focus on-
Equality of opportunity
Police Community Relations
WMP Policy development
Stan also outlined goals he expected the association to achieve in its first year. He made sure BAPA had a voice and wasn’t afraid to challenge the force.
Stan Bean loved sport – boxing, rugby, football & cricket. He played cricket for West Midlands Police and played for West Midlands Police Cricket Veterans. Since his death, every June a memorial cricket match is played between WMP Vets and Handsworth Park Cricket Club – held at alternate locations of Handsworth Park and Tally Ho! A team cricket photo hangs in the Tally Ho Social Club bar.
On retiring from the police Stan continued to give back to the community. He was passionate about mentoring, supporting and developing young black boys. He worked at Wheelers Lane Boys School and latterly Holte School (2002-2006), before his illness took hold and he died in 2007.