Message from New Scotland Yard | places of worship | hate crime

Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer is a longstanding friend of LBFN’s and is currently Head of Community Engagement for the Metropolitan Police.  He has sent this message so that it can be passed on to congregations, colleagues and networks this weekend.

“Over the next few days, communities of different faiths will congregate across London to celebrate their holy days. We know many will reflect on the terrible events of last Saturday evening in their readings and prayers but also that some will feel worried and vulnerable about their safety as they gather in their places of worship.

“To help support these communities, we have increased the number of officers on the streets to reassure local people that they are able to go about their daily lives in peace and without fear of harassment or intimidation.

“Dedicated Ward Officers are making contact with their local places of worship to encourage them to report hate crimes and to reassure those who congregate there that the police will take these crimes seriously.

“The Metropolitan Police has made more than 25 arrests for hate crime offences since Saturday.

“We have long since recognised the impact of hate crime on communities and the hidden nature of this crime, which remains largely under-reported. The MPS stands together with policing partners, colleagues and groups to investigate all hate crime allegations, support victims and their families, and bring perpetrators to justice.

“We would appeal to anyone who witnesses or suffers any hate of any type to immediately report it so that action can quickly be taken and catch those responsible.”

Hate crime can be reported through 999 in an emergency, by dialling 101 in a non-emergency, directly at a police station, through the MOPAC Hate Crime app or through community reporting methods such as Tell MAMA, Galop, or the CST.

Total Policing is the Met’s commitment to be on the streets and in your communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.

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LBFN 18 May | Borough Timelines

From Neighbourhood Renewal to Big Society, from mental illness to hate crime, from 9/11 to integration, PCTs to CCGs, Stop & Search to SNPs, interfaith walks & WhatsApp groups – such a lot has changed!

Join us tomorrow evening 5.30pm-7.30pm as we chart the massive contribution that local gurdwaras, synagogues, mosques, temples and churches have made to the wider community and the key contribution of local multifaith networks and forums working in partnership with councils, the NHS, local police & fire services.

Add your significant dates to our timeline (it will be posted online soon), hear from faith forums & public sector officers across the capital and be part of an engaging debate on the current context.

With us will be practitioners from Kensington & Chelsea, Harrow, Wandsworth, Hounslow, Islington, Tower Hamlets, Richmond, Lambeth, Havering, Westminster, Southwark, Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge, Enfield, Croydon, Barnet & the City, with borough London Resilience managers and local police officers.

If you plan to join us & haven’t yet confirmed your place, email asap.  We are meeting at Voluntary Action Islington, 200a Pentonville Road (near the junction with Killick St, next to Cycle Surgery), N1 9JP (King’s Cross tube).

As well as news from key faith forums across the capital, we’ll hear from:

  • Malik Gul, WCEN
  • Yvette Ellis, VAI
  • Steve Miller, FbRN
  • Matt Scott, London Voluntary Service Council

and hear an update on LBFN’s social labs:

  • safety & security (with London Resilience & Ecclesiastical Insurance)
  • peace-building
  • health & wellbeing
  • European links
  • intersectionality

There will be plenty of time to share news and ideas and a simple vegetarian meal will be served.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Westminster Bridge | Wednesday 29 March | 2.15pm

Message from Commander Chishty, Metropolitan Police

Dear Friends,

7th Day Anniversary of Westminster Bridge Attack ‘A Bridge for all Communities’

There has been an overwhelming desire by people from all different faiths and backgrounds wanting to pay their respect to those who lost their lives, suffered injury and to show that #WeStandTogether against all forms of extremism and hate.

The attack took place on one of our most well-known bridges, Westminster Bridge and many people feel it is fitting to come together on a ‘bridge’ across our cities and towns symbolising that we have a ‘Bridge for all Communities’.

The proposal is simply for an assembly of people who want to come together at the same time that the attack took place last week and be able to

  • observe one minute silence
  • have the opportunity for private reflection
  • offer prayers and good wishes
  • show that #WeStandTogether

As a show of unity we felt it would be lovely if people were able to carry a single flower during the event which can be laid down as a sign that we will never forget those who lost their lives.

These 7 day anniversary events will be taking place across the country, including London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester, Leicester, Leeds and Sheffield.

The event in London will take place on Westminster Bridge and people will be asked to meet outside the Park Plaza Hotel on the South Side of Westminster Bridge at 1415hrs on Wednesday 29 March 2017.

With my best wishes

Mak Chishty
Commander Engagement

Training on safety and security

new-scotland-yardSafety and Security for Places of Worship in London: supporting each other across religious traditions.

Pilot course starting this year: one evening per week over 6 weeks at New Scotland Yard.

The training is for small to medium sized places of worship, with an encouraging message to build confidence and to kick-start some action.

We will learn across faith boundaries, developing diverse networks of support. Our emphasis is on bottom-up ways of working, building on the good work already taking place.

Connecting with our public agency colleagues, we will link churches with temples, synagogues with gurdwaras and Islamic centres: we will not only upskill ourselves, but will understand each other’s different safety concerns and become better able to support each other.

DRAFT PROGRAMME

  1. People in places of worship – safeguarding, lone workers, secure spaces, staff, volunteers (with Metropolitan Police)
  2. Emergencies – terror attack, flood, pandemic & recovery plans (with Ecclesiastical Insurance, Metropolitan Police & London Resilience)
  3. Hate Crime – on the street, on public transport, online abuse (with British Transport Police, Tell Mama & Community Security Trust)
  4. Safety in buildings – worship/teaching, events & visitors, statutory requirements, checks, fire prevention, exits, drilling procedures (with Ecclesiastical Insurance, Community Security Trust & Metropolitan Police)
  5. Supportive links – Borough Councils, Metropolitan Police, City Hall, London Transport Police, London Fire Brigade, Ecclesiastical Insurance, Tell Mama, Community Security Trust, London Resilience, NHS, Public Health
  6. Checklists – who does what, legal obligations, communications, governance and media matters

The pilot course will be open to suggestions and changes along the way and the learning will be captured.  We hope the course will be both robust and popular, and rolled out to other areas of the country.

To register your place of worship on the waiting list for training, or if your organisation is interested in contributing to this initiative, please get in touch.

We are grateful to Ecclesiastical Insurance for their continuing support.

#LondonIsOpen film for Inter Faith Week

London’s faith communities are open and welcoming!

In step with the Mayor’s #LondonIsOpen message, a short film has been shot on location across the capital and includes Sikh, Quaker, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist & Baha’i places opening their doors.

Against a backdrop of international tensions and increased hate crime, London’s faith groups, from humble to grand, are not closed and fearful – we remain open and welcoming!

Inter Faith Week events across London are screening the new film as part of their activities – you are welcome to do the same by using this link.  Can you identify the different places?

london-is-open-logo

Thanks to everyone who responded to our email during the summer and welcomed in the cameras – we were overwhelmed with offers.  A big thank you to Rosalind Parker and Jack Jeffreys for the filming.  For any who would like to get involved in the next stage, our #LondonIsOpen initiative continues – join us at 3pm on Tuesday 6 December at Collaboration House, 77 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PW, to plan for 2017.  Let us know if you’d like to join us.

Film premiere | #LondonIsOpen Places of Worship | 21 September

londonisopen-21-septLBFN’s peace & reconciliation strand includes convening the London Peace Network, which marks the UN International Day of Peace each year.

Join film-makers, artists, religious leaders and LBFN friends from across the capital on Wednesday 21 September at 8am-9am at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square for the premiere of a short film celebrating London’s places of worship – we are open and welcoming, not closed and fearful. Download the flyer.

The film is inspired by the Mayor of London’s #LondonIsOpen series and will be shown at Southwark Cathedral later in the year in the presence of the Mayor.  Churches, Islamic centres, temples, synagogues, meeting houses and gurdwaras will be open to guests during their times of worship or meeting on 23, 24 and 25 September – contact LBFN for details.

To secure your place, please register on the Eventbrite page.

Safe and secure – together

New Scotland Yard did us proud yesterday - thank you Commander Chishty, C Supt Dave Stringer & Insp Andy Burton

New Scotland Yard did us proud yesterday – thank you Commander Chishty, C Supt Dave Stringer & Insp Andy Burton

With officers from NYPD joining us (true!), and people from over 70 temples, Islamic centres, gurdwaras, churches and synagogues across London, we had a great time yesterday at New Scotland Yard.

We learned a lot – from each other, from our guest speakers Tell Mama, Community Security Trust and Ecclesiastical Insurance and from the Met themselves.

How do we, practically, keep our buildings and people safe and secure?  How do we mind each other’s backs – co-ordinating support across the places of worship in our neighbourhood?  What about social media?  Lone workers?  Or if disaster hits London – disease, flood, attack?

Bespoke, tailored training is on its way, courtesy of LBFN’s Safety & Security Social Lab, working with the Metropolitan Police and partners.  Let us know if you’re interested.  We’ll upload the checklists and presentations soon.

Thank you Bharti Taylor, Steve Miller, RashidAli Laher, Surinder Singh Jandu & Archdeacon Paul Wright for setting the scene and to everyone for searching questions and positive ideas for the next steps.

It wasn’t all doom & gloom or death by PowerPoint – LBFN meetings are nothing if not very social, and the cream cakes all disappeared.