UNISON activist Macdonald Neife was awarded Police Staff of the Year by the National Black Police Association (NBPA) last month.
The gong, presented at a ceremony hosted by Bedfordshire Constabulary in Luton, is for a member of police staff who has actively and positively promoted equality and fairness within the police service over a significant period of time, championing Black issues locally and nationally on behalf of the NBPA.
As well as his work through the NBPA, Mac is a UNISON steward, welfare and education rep for Essex Police. In all roles he puts fairness and equality at the centre of his work.
“It has been an absolute honour to be nominated for this prestigious award by the NBPA,” he said. “I have always stood firm to support fairness, equality and inclusion in society and I am elated that my work has been recognised.”
The NBPA protects the rights of Black staff within the police service to enhance racial justice across the UK, aiming to create better conditions for Black staff within the police to create better conditions for Black communities more widely.
“The association has come a long way in embracing police staff while we all work towards a common agenda,” said Mac. “As vice-president, I aim to make sure that the rights and welfare of police staff are always taken into account in any discussion held around policing and how we as an organisation engage with the local community.”
Mac started his working life with spells in marketing and insurance before deciding to join Essex Police 17 years ago, taking on various roles. He is currently working as a community safety and engagement officer in Thurrock.
He loves his role and will always say that every day brings a different challenge. In his time he has done a lot of work around youth engagement and bridging the gap between the younger generation and the police. Thurrock Council recognised his work on a project tackling anti-social behaviour.
Mac became a UNISON rep to support members in times of need, proudly going the extra mile as a health and safety rep, education rep and welfare officer.
“I know that things are hard and we work in an environment where people are not comfortable to say they are facing difficulties but I always assure them that they are not alone in this struggle.”
His efforts on the recruitment and progression of staff from diverse backgrounds in the police service has also been recognised by Essex Police.