Advisory Board (West Midlands)
Khizra Bano Dhindsa
Born in 1979 in inner city Birmingham, Sergeant Khizra Bano Dhindsa completed her education at the Lahore College in Pakistan and then Coventry University, before joining West Midlands Police in 2001.
Khizra’s first 10 years of police service were in operation, community-based roles across some of the most challenging neighbourhoods in the force. Her performance in these roles, particularly in relation to crime reduction and community engagement, has led to a number of national accolades which include Officer of the Year (British Association of Women in Policing), Community Leader of the Year (MOSAIC mentoring), Asian Woman of Achievement (Public Sector) and Civil Servant of the Year (British Muslim Awards).
Khizra’s present posting is in Positive Action for West Midlands Police. Her aims within this are to increase black and minority ethnic representation within the force. As a result of a number of initiatives deployed in 2015, the November 2015 intake of police officers is at its most diverse ever, with 40% being of BME heritage. Khizra is now working on the creation of a national practitioner’s network to help further this work across all British forces.
Following school, Bas joined the Royal Navy (RN) in 1988 and qualified as a helicopter engineer, specialising in weapons engineering. Bas worked on Lynx Helicopters at both Royal Naval Air Station Portland and on board HMS Brilliant. During his military service, Bas took an active part in many operational roles, the most notable of which was Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf (1991). During his time in the Gulf War, Bas received a Commanding Officer’s Commendation for Teamwork and Bravery.
Bas then went on to join Avon and Somerset Police in November 1993. His policing experiences have been varied and almost entirely operational, having worked in Response Policing, Neighbourhood Policing, Criminal Justice, Criminal Investigation, Critical Incident Management, plus various secondments to specialist departments, both within the Police and external agencies.
Bas transferred to West Midland Police (WMP) in 2007 as a Detective Chief Inspector, where he also qualified as a Senior Investigation Officer. He has since taken the lead in several serious and sensitive investigations within the West Midlands and wider.
In February 2011 Bas was promoted to the rank of Superintendent and took the lead for Operations and Crime within the metropolitan borough of Sandwell. His current post is lead for Local Policing at East Birmingham, which is considered to be one of the most challenging and diverse policing areas in the United Kingdom.
In addition to his operational role, Bas also has the WMP lead for Engagement as well as the lead in a variety of other strategic and operational activities on behalf of WMP, such as Tactical Firearms Command and Public Order Command. Bas also sits as an executive member of the WMP – Police Superintendent’s Association for England and Wales. Bas has completed a post graduate diploma in Public Service Leadership (Coventry University) and also holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Criminology from the University of Cambridge, completing his Master’s thesis on the subject of Public Confidence in Policing.
Bas is a member of the Board of Governors at Sandwell College, West Bromwich, where he also sits as a member of the Learners, Quality and Curriculum Committee. Outside of work, Bas holds a Private Pilot’s licence and his interests include aviation, guitar and cooking.
Henna was actively involved in local politics and tackling of local issues from an early age following her family’s move to England in the early 70’s. She would accompany her father on local Conservative political hustings, and in her school years she continued to work as a youth representative, with her local Labour MP, with whom she worked with to better the area of Highfields, Leicester. Following a Sociology degree, Henna started working for a local television channel focused on interfaith dialogue and community cohesion.
In 2006, Henna moved to Mumbai and was actively involved with NGO’s working to support victims of the sex trafficking trade who had contracted HIV and were facing isolation and ostracism. Her role included empowering young children and their mothers through skills development and education, offering them greater chances in life. Following her return to England, she began working in theology research with the Al Mahdi Institute Birmingham. She soon felt the need to become more involved in local community issues in Birmingham, and following which Henna established Kaleidoscope Arts to focus on interfaith relations and expressions of spirituality through performing arts.
During this time she was actively involved speaking out against radicalisation of young people, and was the official media spokesperson for the Home Office based Open Your Eyes Campaign against ISIS, which was launched to provide a platform where victims’ of Daesh atrocities could share their experiences and the harsh realities of living under Daesh rule.
As a natural progression, Henna returned her focus to the issues of safeguarding young people and tackling radicalisation in communities through my voluntary involvement and support of various counter extremism initiatives in the West Midlands. She launched Women Against Radicalisation Network (WARN) that works on grassroots engagement, including empowering, engaging and educating women who may be at risk whilst providing safeguarding for families against radicalisation. In addition to this, Henna is involved in various local initiatives working on interfaith cohesion, gender equality and opportunities. This work is now continued with greater depth through WARN.
Fiona is the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at West Midlands Police and a qualified Employment lawyer with the task of ensuring England and Wales’ second largest Police force delivers an excellent Equality, Diversity and Human Rights product. Previous career experience has ranged from International Business and Marketing to Law, through to writing fiction and even sailing around the world on a yacht.
Fiona has a Master’s degree in International Marketing working at the Department for Trade and Industry and has previously been a Director of a footwear import business. She has worked extensively with Staff Support Associations and the communities of the West Midlands.
Hifzha Shaheen is a British Pakistani Journalist. Having started her career at the regional award winning newspaper, The Asian Today, she then went on to establish a grassroots media agency named Fortitude Media. Spending her time in championing and promoting community projects – she is an active campaigner of promoting interfaith dialogue and is an avid charity volunteer. An active sports fan, she was born and raised in Walsall, West Midlands and holds a Bachelor’s degree with honours from Birmingham City University.
Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal MBE, DL, MPHIL
Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal works for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills as Regional Prevent Lead for Further and Higher Education. This role enables Hifsa to work with the many universities, colleges and private education providers across the West Midlands region, providing advice, information, support and training around the Prevent agenda. Hifsa previously worked at Staffordshire University, where she completed her Masters in Philosophy before taking up the role of Equality and Diversity Officer and Stakeholder Engagement Manager. She is a well known figure locally, regionally and nationally and uses her position to raise awareness of and promote equality and diversity across many community groups and professional forums, particularly in relation to inter faith, women’s issues and hate crime. She has held a number of local positions including being a member of Staffordshire Police Authority and the Police and Crime Panel and has been a member of the scrutiny panel for Stafford and Drake Hall Prisons.
She is Vice Chair of SACRE, Chair of an award winning multi agency hate crime partnership (CACH) and Chair of the North Staffordshire Forum of Faiths. Hifsa also holds a number of national roles as part of the Islamic Society of Britain and Association of British Muslims. She is a founding member of the Armed Forces Muslim Forum established by the Ministry of Defence in July 2014 and a champion and board member (West Midlands Region) of Remembering Srebrenica. Previously she has been the treasurer of the National Cancer Conference for Self Help Groups. Hifsa has had a number of publications in academic journals and contributed to three books on topics ranging from cancer care to peer review of clinical education assessments. In 2011 Hifsa was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire and received an MBE in her Majesty’s New Year’s Honours List for services to community cohesion.
Sheikh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Sheikh Paul Salahuddin Armstrong is a director, scholar and broadcaster based in the United Kingdom. After officially embracing Islam on 1 March 2000, Sheikh Paul continued to study religion and spirituality for the past 16 years. For over a decade, he has been serving the community as an imam and murshid (spiritual teacher).
Since embracing Islam, Sheikh Paul has learned from scholars and murshids that include; Sheikh Sufi Muhammad Abdullah Khan, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf Hanson, Sheikh Daoud Rosser-Owen, Imam Zaid Shakir, Sheikh Muhammad Amin-Evans, Sheikh Abu Muntasir (Manwar Ali), Sheikh Abdul-Hakim Murad, Imam Abdassamad Clarke, Sheikh Tahir-ul-Qadri and Sheikh Hisham Kabbani, along with studying the works of Imam Malik, Imam Ali, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam Zayn Al Abidin, Imam Ghazali and the writings of more contemporary scholars, such as the aforementioned and in addition, works by Sheikh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani, Sheikha Hajjah Amina Adil, Sheikha Aisha Bewley, Bilal Philips and others…
In addition to current positions as Co-Director of the Association of British Muslims, Director of KhilafahOnline, and Director of Heruset; previously Sheikh Paul was a trustee of Wolverhampton Inter-Faith & Regeneration Network for a period of 6 years, during which time he was actively involved in the work of the organisation; currently Sheikh Paul is also a trustee of BME United Ltd / Step Up (WM) CIC, and back in 2007 he founded Wulfruna Sufi Association.
Born in Aston in Birmingham, and educated locally, Joyce completed a Sociology degree, followed by a Master’s degree in Socio-legal studies at Birmingham University in the 1990’s
She joined the Wolverhampton Probation Service leading on alternatives to custody initiative’s for young black offenders, before going on to further her work in criminal justice at the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO) where she was first employed as National Equal Opportunities Manager and then took on operational roles with NACRO’s employment and training section, covering their operations across the UK.
In the 1990’s Joyce worked for Community Service Volunteers as its West Midlands Regional Manager and then as Regional Manager for Stonham Housing for Offenders addressing housing and support needs for ex-offenders and ex-prisoners.
She joined Birmingham City Council in 1997 as the Council’s Race Equality Manager and then went on to hold a variety of roles with the Council, leading on work in relation to race and equality, community engagement and co-ordinating the work of the Birmingham Stephen Lawrence Commission, established to address matters of institutional racism.
In 2005 she was seconded for 2 years to the Government Office for the West Midlands supporting and developing community and partnership based approaches in respect of gang violence across the Midlands.
Following the riots in Birmingham, she co-ordinated projects for the City Council working in partnership with a variety of agencies including the West Midlands Police, Health, employment and education services to support and develop joined up approaches to increase community resilience and help to reduce community tensions. Joyce currently has operational responsibility within the Equalities, Community Safety and Cohesion Service of the City Council and also co-ordinates the work of the Birmingham Hate Crime Partnership.