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Women's History Month: Meet Stevenage's Head of Policing

ADAPTABLE: Alicia Shaw has faced many diverse challenges during her time as a police officer

CHIEF INSPECTOR Alicia Shaw has just been appointed lead of policing in Stevenage in Hertfordshire, making her one of the most respected black women in her field.

In her new role, she is responsible for overseeing the work of the town’s three Safer Neighbourhood Teams, Intervention Teams and the Local Crime Unit.

Shaw joined Hertfordshire Constabulary over 25 years ago and has fulfilled many key roles. She started her career as a patrol officer in North Herts and moved to Stevenage a few years later.

Throughout her career, she has returned to Stevenage on many occasions, coming back as a Detective Sergeant and an uniformed Inspector.

She has also undertaken additional roles such as being a Hostage Negotiator and was also a previous Chair for the Herts BPA.

Having faced discrimination and overt racism, Shaw’s success is inspiring to many, as a leading BME female officer in a highly respected position. We asked this extraordinary woman a few questions about her inspiration, challenges, and advice for younger women.

Q: What’s your source of inspiration?

Alicia Shaw: I have been a police officer for over 25 years and met people from all walks of life - some really vulnerable people - that make me grateful every day. I have made a difference to lots of lives by either saving them, being there for victims of crime and seeking justice for victims or their families. I have made some amazing friends during my career which helps in a job such as this which sometimes has difficult days.

Q: Which women inspire you?

Alicia Shaw: My mother Margaret Moore, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. They have all faced their own challenges and experiences and are such positive role models.

Q: What challenges do women face that you’d like to see change in the future?

Alicia Shaw: Women are still overlooked for some positions, and I would like to see women judged for what they can do and their skills and brilliance and not on their age or what they look like.

Q: What advice would you give to young women following in your footsteps?

Alicia Shaw: Anything is achievable so believe in yourself even when no one else does and support other woman – that is really important.

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