Halifax police officer tells of his heroine in Afghanistan

Superintendent Stan Bates.
Superintendent Stan Bates.

A POLICE officer from Calderdale who is helping restore order in Afghanistan has been reporting back from the conflict hit country.

Superintendent Stan Bates swapped the streets of Halifax for Kabul earlier this year to assist in introducing community policing.

Already he has heard some incredible stories including from a young woman whose husband joined the police to try to build a better Afghanistan.

He said: “He was posted to Kandahar where he was murdered by insurgents in a gun battle.

“She believed his work was for the good of all Afghan people and that the best way to honour his memory was to continue the work herself.

“Explaining that being widowed at a young age and without children she was in a position to give her life to this cause and that was now her chosen path.

“In a country where the majority of women stay at home, she was proud to wear the uniform of the Afghan National Police.

“It may sound dramatic, but I believe in that encounter I met a woman with more courage than I could ever muster.”

Superintendent Bates, who joined the Calderdale division three years ago, is working with the Afghan Civil Police trying to establish sustainable and effective civilian policing. He has previously worked in Belarus and the Ukraine on behalf of the United Nation’s international drug-control programme.

He added: “On the lighter side, I hadn’t realised just how big I am. Compared to most Afghans, I’m a giant.

“I’m discovering the Afghans like a laugh and so far it’s been a source of amusement.

“They joke that the Brits have sent an athlete. It’s certainly the first time I’ve been accused of that!”