Birmingham & Black Country

First Asian police officer 'would join police again now'

Mohammed Daar Image copyright Mohammed Daar
Image caption Mohammed Daar said he did not think about the impact he was making

One of the first ethnic minority police officers in the UK said he would still join the police 50 years on.

Mohammed Daar became a PC in Coventry with West Midlands Police in 1966.

He said he did not encounter racism and was accepted by colleagues and the public before leaving two years later.

Mr Daar, who inspired his brother to join the police, said they "feel lucky" to have opened the doors for others to join.

A serving officer with Tanzanian police, Mr Daar said he came to the UK with a lot of experience and said he did not think about the impact or "making history".

"Everyone was very welcoming and members of the public would come over and shake my hand. I did not encounter any racism," he said.

Image caption Mr Daar said he would 'definitely' join the police today

West Midlands Police is marking 50 years since the first black and minority ethnic (BME) officers joined, as part of Black History month.

PC Ralph Ramadhar was the force's first black officer in Birmingham after also joining West Midlands Police in 1966.

The force said he overcame initial racism from "a pocket of the community" before becoming a sergeant and leaving in 1977 when he returned to his native Trinidad.

Police figures show almost 9% of West Midlands Police officers are from BME communities.

Image caption Mr Daar, went outon patrol with new recruit PC Kiran Patel

Ch Supt Matt Ward, the highest ranking black officer in the force, said more needs to be done but he has seen a "renewed focus" within the past 12 months.

Mr Daar, 74, who met new recruit PC Kiran Patel and went out on patrol once again said: "If somebody would've asked me [if I would join the force again today] about 10, 15, 20 years ago, I would have said no.

"But today, after looking at the training and talking to PC Patel, I think they're onto a good thing.

"I would definitely join the police force again."

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