In 2017 Simon Phillips, the Community Engagement Officer for West Yorkshire Police worked with colleagues to hold a Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) event at Police Headquarters in Wakefield.
West Yorkshire Police first got involved in HMD in 2015 by putting posters in police stations, and their involvement has grown from there.
This year’s event was attended by officers from the Community Engagement and Equality & Diversity teams, Staff Support Associations and Deputy Chief Constable John Robins. It was also available to other Force staff via Skype. Officers watched films from the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) website and shared Life Stories of survivors who they had researched personally and really engaged with, which gave the event an interactive and very moving atmosphere.
After the event, the HMD film was circulated on the staff intranet and emailed to members of the Force’s Equality Board.
‘As a Jew, Holocaust Memorial Day is particularly poignant to me, perhaps even more so this year having attended the funeral of Eugene Black last year and then talking about his experiences at our commemorative event.
It was extremely important for us to mark Holocaust Memorial Day since West Yorkshire Police serve such a diverse range of communities, some of whom are not only vulnerable to being victims of hate crime and prejudice in this country, but may also have arrived in this country as a result of persecution and genocidal acts such as those we spoke about.
It is also vital that we demonstrate how the police service in the UK has a strong and unwavering commitment to equality and to keep all communities safe.’