Keeping safe & secure | New Scotland Yard | 22 April

Security Briefing 22 April 9amCome to New Scotland Yard on Wednesday 22 April 9am – 10.30am for security briefings from Commander Mak Chishty & the Metropolitan Police and also from specialists Tell MAMA, the Community Security Trust & Ecclesiastical Insurance.

Religiously motivated hate crime has been on the rise for some time.  The threat level from international terrorism to the UK was raised to severe last August.  Attacks overseas and here in London have knock-on effects locally.

In spite of this, local people from many different traditions continue to build strong relationships across religion and belief boundaries and to stand in solidarity with each other in times of crisis.  The sustained work of local faith forums, multifaith networks and councils plays a very significant role.

Building on this, we’ll hear expert advice on keeping safe & secure from specialist organisations and listen to the particular challenges faced by different communities.

We will also discuss practical ways in which we can support each other quickly and effectively in the event of a threat (to buildings or to people), desecration, or abuse on social media.

We will be pulling together some key points to help us improve our own safety and that of our neighbours.

If you have questions you would like to ask, it would be a great help if you emailed LBFN’s convener in advance.

Local places of worship and religious & belief communities are all welcome.

Please download the invitation and pass on to your local churches, Islamic centres, synagogues, gurdwaras, temples and meeting houses.

ThiyaPlease register your name (by noon on 21 April) to be added to the guest list, arrive early at 8.45am and bring photo ID to clear security.

LBFN’s Tara Thiyagarajan (left) will meet everyone at the Reception Desk.  We would like to start promptly at 9am and look forward to seeing you there.

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New Scotland Yard

MPS Engagement Tsar Cdr Mak Chishty

New MPS Engagement Tsar Cdr Mak Chishty

LBFN’s Crime, Community Safety and Security social lab had an excellent and wide-ranging exchange with the new Commander for Engagement in the Metropolitan Police Service, Mak Chishty, on Monday 7 July.

Contributions from Islington, Hounslow, Enfield, Lambeth, Kingston, Harrow, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge and Merton showed the range of good work undertaken by local faith forums in engaging with the police.  They also highlighted the challenges in sustaining relationships over time.

Commander Chishty shared with us his initial thoughts on engagement and the work already underway, which includes local mapping, a listening campaign, special summer events and borough engagement plans.  His SHINE approach encourages relaxed and informal relationships to develop between police officers and the public.

With the change from the Metropolitan Police Authority’s Community-Police Engagement Groups to the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime’s Safer Neighbourhood Boards, there is some uncertainty over structures to support engagement.  Progress seems to be uneven across London.

LBFN members were asked to contact their Borough Commanders (details for each borough here) to initiate conversations which will lead to the inclusion of religious communities in the new borough engagement plans.  The emphasis was on sustained relationships with multifaith groups, churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and gurdwaras, which all offer strong social networks, local knowledge, expertise and organisational memory.

LBFN's Crime, Community Safety and Security social lab at New Scotland Yard.

LBFN’s Crime, Community Safety and Security social lab at New Scotland Yard.

People from seven religious traditions took part.  We will organise a follow up meeting in due course.

New Scotland Yard | Monday 7 July 3pm

New_Scotland_YardCommander Mak Chishty has invited LBFN to New Scotland Yard, 8-10 Broadway, London SW1H 0BG, on Monday 7 July 3-5pm (St James’s Park tube).

We’ll be sharing our experience and expertise in engaging with the Metropolitan Police and we have an excellent line-up of contributors from across the boroughs.  Let me know in advance if you would like us to address a particular aspect.

If you have not already done so, please let LBFN know if you plan to attend so that your name can be added to the guest list for admittance.  Allow extra time to clear security and bring photo ID with you.

There will also be a briefing on our plans to mark the UN International Day of Peace in our boroughs on the weekend of 18-21 September.  Flyers will be available soon.  Please consult your faith forum or local network – if any of the Islamic centres, synagogues, churches or places of worship in your borough would like to invite neighbouring communities to visit that weekend, please contact LBFN for further information.