Constable Xena Ali is the first member of the New Zealand Police to wear a specially designed hijab as part of a force uniform to encourage more Muslim women to join the ranks. Xena, 30, was prompted to join the police to help her Muslim community following the Christchurch terror attack last year that killed 51 people in two mosques in New Zealand. This week she will not only graduate as a police officer, but will become the first in New Zealand to donate a police-issued hijab as part of her uniform, the New Zealand Herald reported.
This is to say that Xena has worked with the police to design a garment that is functional for her new role and considers her religion.
“I love being able to show the New Zealand police uniform hijab and go out because I was able to participate in the design process,” she said, adding that she was “proud” to represent her community – Especially women.
Xena believes the move will encourage other women to apply force as well.
“Being a police-branded hijab means that women, who previously did not consider policing, can now do so. It is great how the police incorporated my religion and culture, ”she said.
Fiji-born Xena moved to New Zealand with her family when she was a child. She praised the police for considering her personal needs – both in the police college and in her role.
“He had a prayer hall and halal meals in the college. When I had to go swimming, they were fine with me with long sleeves, ”said Xena.
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“We need more Muslim women to help in the community, most of them are too afraid to talk to the police and will probably close the front door if a man turns to talk to them. If we have more women, a more diverse front line, then we can reduce more crime, ”she said.
The report noted that diversity diversity is one of the six core values for the New Zealand Police – professionalism, respect, integrity, sympathy and commitment with the Treaty of Māori.
The New Zealand Police said, “We believe that different perspectives and experiences make us better.”
“We need people with skills, backgrounds and experience levels – diversity is essential so that we can effectively meet the needs of New Zealand communities now and in the future,” it said.
In 2008, New Zealand Police introduced a turban in uniform, and Nelson Constable Jagmohan Malhi became the first officer to wear it on duty. Till then he had to take off the turban on duty, even though he was an important part of Sikhism. In the UK, the Metropolitan Police approved a similar hijab in 2006 in London with Police Scotland in 2006. In Australia, the Victoria Police General Secretary wore a hijab in 2004, the BBC said in a report.
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