100 years of Policewomen

RAF Policewomen helped to make history by joining colleagues from around the world at the International Association of Women Police Conference which was held in Cardiff at the end of August.

The International Association of Women Police (IAWP) is celebrating a very special year as 2015 marks its centenary and this training conference was designed to bring hundreds of members from 77 countries together. A milestone year for women in policing, 2015 also marks the 100th anniversary of the first women joining the British Police. Six RAF Policewomen were in attendance at the Conference which is the biggest event in the IAWP’s calendar. It not only recognises the contribution that women make towards policing, it affords an opportunity to hear from global police leaders on a wide variety of topics, promotes the sharing of best practice and discussion of cross-cutting, local and international issues  amongst delegates. It is all geared towards professional development.

The Conference opened with a VIP ceremony which saw  The Provost Marshal (RAF), Group Captain Kevin Bailey in attendance, he said: “It was an inspiring occasion and one that provided a good opportunity to engage with the civilian Police, particularly at Chief Constable level.”

The highlight of the opening ceremony saw the centre of Cardiff graced by the presence of over 600 female police officers adorned in their uniforms from around the world as they paraded through the Welsh capital. The ‘Parade of Nations’ commenced under grey skies, yet the inclement weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the participants as they wound their way through the City Centre to the delight of the crowds that lined their route. An awards lunch followed recognising outstanding efforts.

Flight Lieutenant Chrissy Siczowa, Operations Officer, No 4 Protection Wing, at RAF Brize Norton attended the Conference for the first time. She was heading up the exhibition stand for the RAF Police that promotes life in the RAF and used to aid the recruitment of reservists, she said: “It was an absolute honour to represent the RAF Police at this year’s IAWP Conference. Having never attended the Conference previously, it was my first experience of the Association and I was eager to showcase the RAF Police and learn from other organisations”.

Accompanying Flight Lieutenant Siczowa for this Cardiff deployment were Corporal Rhi James from RAF High Wycombe, Flight Sergeant Angie Young from RAF Henlow, Corporal Adele Logan from RAF Halton and Acting Corporals Jess Feeley and Alycia Wood, both stationed at RAF Honington.

Flight Lieutenant Siczowa concluded: “It was a fantastic opportunity for myself and the team to demonstrate the high calibre of female police personnel that currently exist within the RAF.”