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.

Your police, your say – borough roadshows

435_200_large_stripMOPAC (Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime) has announced the first 15 dates for this year’s borough roadshows.  The Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime will be visiting each borough to update local communities on progress and to answer questions.  See the dates below and follow the links – places are on a first come, first served basis.  Roadshows in the remaining boroughs will take place this autumn.

Following the verdict on the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan in Haringey, the appointment of an ‘Engagement Tzar’ was announced by the Metropolitan Police at the Home Affairs Select Committee.  LBFN has been told that the name of the officer appointed won’t be released until a framework for this work is agreed.

Faith Forum for London’s conference last April on policing included several workshops on diversifying the police service in London and on improving local relationships.  A change in policy on borough-based community-police engagement groups has led to concerns that engagement and partnership work will become more difficult, both for the police and for local communities.  LBFN co-facilitated one of the conference workshops, many LBFN members attended and it remains a topic of interest.  London Churches Social Action Network is discussing engagement with the police at its next meeting – contact Canon Steven Saxby if you’d like to attend.

London’s Islamic Centres

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner issued a statement this evening, following two suspicious fires in Barnet and Bromley.

“These are difficult times for London’s communities,” he said.

“The Met is now investigating suspicious fires at two locations within the Islamic community which have happened in the past few days. Fortunately no one has been hurt, but we know that fires can often prove fatal.”

He said he wanted to reassure people that the police were “using our full range of policing tactics to protect sites that might be vulnerable”.

“In all boroughs across London, there is an increased police presence around locations that might be at risk. We will maintain a 24/7 guard of uniformed officers at sites we consider to be at greatest risk,” he said.

“We should not allow the murder of Lee Rigby to come between Londoners. The unified response we have seen to his death across all communities will triumph over those who seek to divide us.”

A BBC report gives further details.  Safety advice remains in place.  Please contact your local police if you have any safety concerns.

The positive response by local religious groups and leaders to recent events has been swift and strongly supportive of our local Islamic centres.

Members of Barnet Multi Faith Forum are supporting colleagues at the Bravanese Centre and the Darul Uloom School in Chislehurst will be receiving assistance from the newly formed Interfaith Forum in Bromley.

Religious communities in Woolwich have been rallying round and showing their solidarity.  The Director of the Greenwich Islamic Centre (Woolwich Mosque), Dr Tariq Abbasi, and Revd Malcolm Torry (Greenwich Faith Community Leaders) both spoke on the BBC’s Sunday programme.  The Islamic Centre welcomed well-wishers to tea on Friday 31st May and the Bishop of Woolwich, Archbishop Kevin McDonald, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, local MP Nick Rainsford, Sadiq Khan MP, Julie Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of Britian and many others joined Dr Abbasi in laying flowers in memory of Lee Rigby at Woolwich Barracks.  You can find photos of the occasion here and there were many press and TV reports.  Afterwards Dr Abbasi sent a message of thanks,

“Thank you to everyone who visited the Greenwich Islamic Centre on Friday afternoon and for the support that the Centre and community has received.”

LBFN was to have met this Thursday.  Everyone has been very busy so we will postpone a full meeting, but all are welcome at our office for light refreshments at 9 St John’s Crypt, 73 Waterloo Road, SE1 8TY at 2.30pm on Thursday 13th June to reflect on recent events.  Please let LBFN know if you plan to join us.  There will be time to move to Westminster Cathedral for those attending Cardinal Tauran’s prayers for peace with leaders of different faiths at 4.30/5.00pm.

UPDATE 10th JUNE – FAITHS FORUM FOR LONDON’S STATEMENT

Suspected Arson Attacks – United London Stands

We, as representatives of nine of London’s faith communities, stand united in solidarity in our disgust at the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, the suspected arson attacks on an Islamic centre in Muswell Hill and a Muslim school in Chislehurst.

None of these are a legitimate means to express grievance. None of these are representative of a faith that we recognise. None of these show pride in being British.

We know religion and we know British pride. It is about a shared commitment to the common good of our city and our country. That is our mission. That is our faith.

We welcome the comments of the Mayor of London, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and many of London’s leaders, condemning this violence and calling for unity.

In spite of the attempts of extremists to divide us, it is clear that victory will ultimately lie with peace, hope and love.

United London Stands.

FFL’s Faith and Policing Conference 23 April

Met_PoliceOn the morning of 23 April, Faiths Forum for London is teaming up with the Metropolitan Police to host a conversation about the relationship between the police and faith communities.

FFL’s Director, Phil Rosenberg, says

This initiative comes at the request of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who will be among the participants.  Topics covered will include:

Diversifying the Met
Tackling Hate Crime
Faith Responses to Major Incidents
Enhancing Local Relationships
Addressing Youth Crime

Many of us will be interested in all these topics and will be able to contribute from our own local experience & expertise.

LBFN has been asked to contribute to the Enhancing Local Relationships breakout group.  I’m hoping an officer from the British Transport Police will also be able to join us.

More information about the conference is on FFL’s website.

Download the Registration Form here and return it to FFL at info@faithsforum4london.org.

Policing in London: consultations in each borough

police and crime planStop Press (9 Jan): Here is the draft Police and Crime Plan, the slides shown at the Lambeth consultation and the Consultation Draft, which gives details of how to provide feedback.  The deadline is 6th March.  Written responses are invited here.

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Consultations come, consultations go.  This one is on policing and crime – and a roadshow is coming your way.

We’ve all attended public meetings or filled in a questionnaire.  Those of us who’ve done plenty of both may reckon it’s of little value unless

  • the conversations are with the right people (those in public agencies with strategic responsibility)
  • local communities have already had a chance to talk through what is working, what needs to change and why
  • there is a commitment to follow up the consultation and review progress

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime – MOPAC – says

“We want your views to help shape the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan which will be published in April 2013.

It will set out how we aim to reduce crime in the capital over the next four years and what the Met Police and other agencies are doing to tackle crime.”

mopac logoThere isn’t much time between the final consultation at City Hall on 28 February and the publication date to make any changes, but there will be a chance to see what is planned and to ask how local communities will be engaged over the next four years.

How will other agencies – eg the community safety team within each local council – be tackling crime and engaging local people?  How will your borough’s community police engagement group (CPEG) be involved?  Will there be a role for local faith forums?  There is a particular focus on engaging the victims of crime – how will young people and other victims be included?

“The MOPAC has a duty to consult communities on policing in London, including getting the views of people in the area.

It also has a new responsibility to include victims of crime on matters concerning their policing and to obtain their cooperation with police in preventing crime.”

Boroughs with a Hate Crime Forum will want to see how their work relates to the new policy.

Find your borough below (the link will take you to further details) and find your local CPEG from the map here.  Would it be useful to look at this at our next meeting?  Suggestions always welcome.

  • Barking & Dagenham Barking Learning Centre Thursday, 21 February, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Barnet Hendon Town Hall Monday, 14 January, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Bexley Council Chamber & Public Gallery Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Brent Sattavis Patidar Centre Thursday, 10 January, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Bromley Bromley Civic Centre Monday, 28 January, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Camden Camden Centre Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Croydon Croydon Conference Centre Tuesday, 12 February, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Ealing Ealing Town Hall Tuesday, 5 February, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Enfield Civic Centre Conference Room Monday, 14 January, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Final MOPAC consultation City Hall Thursday, 28 February, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:30
  • Greenwich King William Court, University of Greenwich Tuesday, 29 January, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Hackney Hackney Assembly Hall Thursday, 24 January, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Hammersmith & Fulham Hammersmith Town Hall Tuesday, 5 February, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Haringey Haringey Civic Centre Wednesday, 20 February, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Harrow Harrow Civic Centre Thursday, 10 January, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Havering Salvation Army Centre Thursday, 21 February, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Hillingdon Civic Hall in the Civic Centre Wednesday, 6 February, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Hounslow Lampton Park Conference Centre Wednesday, 6 February, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Islington Islington Assembly Hall Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Kensington & Chelsea Chelsea Town Hall Thursday, 31 January, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Kingston upon Thames Council Chamber Wednesday, 27 February, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Lambeth Electric Brixton Wednesday, 9 January, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Lewisham Civic Suite Monday, 28 January, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Merton Council Chamber Tuesday, 26 February, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Newham Stratford Old Town Hall Monday, 11 February, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Redbridge Redbridge Town Hall Monday, 11 February, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Richmond upon Thames Clarendon Hall Wednesday, 27 February, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Southwark City Hall Wednesday, 9 January, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Sutton Secombe Theatre Auditorium Tuesday, 12 February, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Tower Hamlets Skeel Lecture Theatre Thursday, 24 January, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Waltham Forest Waltham Forest Assembly Hall Wednesday, 20 February, 2013 – 18:00 to 19:00
  • Wandsworth Public Halls Tuesday, 26 February, 2013 – 20:00 to 21:00
  • Westminster Salvation Army Thursday, 31 January, 2013 – 17:00 to 18:00

The first roadshows are on 9 January (Lambeth and Southwark) and the last (for everyone at City Hall), is on 28 February.

Your local faith forum

Map of London Boroughs from South London Inter Faith Group

How are things going with your local faith forum?

  • Are local councils (& police, NHS) able to reach their local faith communities to discuss priority issues?
  • Do religious groups contribute to policy and decision-making?
  • Education ♦ hate crime ♦ cohesion ♦ Prevent strategy ♦ equalities/discrimination ♦ stop & search ♦ planning ♦ neighbourhood policing ♦ health care ♦ employment ♦ emergencies ♦ end of life care – what are the issues that deserve attention?
  • Who sets the agenda?  Who is involved?  Who pays?  How does it work?
  • How do SACRE and Borough Deans fit in?  Is inter faith dialogue one of the activities?
  • What happens when key people leave?  Is limited time used well?
  • Twitter, texts, meetings, websites, blogs – what works best?
  • Is the future bright & rosy?  Or not?

LBFN’s next meeting is in King’s Cross, Camden next week.  Come and hear what’s going on across London.  Contribute your own experiences and ideas.

LOCOG‘s Duncan Green will also be with us with an update on Games 2012.

Tuesday 7th December

Coffee & arrivals 9.45am, meeting 10am-12.30pm.

Contact the convener asap or leave a comment here if you are planning to come – look forward to seeing you there.