The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) hosted their first-ever multi-faith conference in Bedfordshire last week with over 100 attendees from different faith groups.
The aim of the event was to give all faith groups the opportunity to hear from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and Bedfordshire Police while last getting the opportunity to network.
Attendees included multi-faith groups, Probation Service, Bedfordshire Police Emerald Team (that deal with Domestic Abuse and sexual violence cases), Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs), Bedfordshire Police Chaplaincy and the Independent Advisory Group (IAG).
The communities heard from PCC Festus Akinbusoye, Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Trevor Rodenhurst, Director of VERU, Kimberley Lamb, the Bedfordshire Police Community Cohesion team and from the Lead Chaplain for Beds.
PCC Festus Akinbusoye said: “Community safety is the responsibility of us all, including our faith communities who do a lot in supporting some of our most vulnerable and as volunteers.
“The aim of the conference was to recognise the important role our faith communities play in community safety and safeguarding, better understand how we can support them, and also share areas of closer cooperation for the benefit of the county.
Speaking at the event the Commissioner said “This is the first time we are doing this, and it certainly will not be the last. I genuinely want to express my sincere thanks for the leadership that you show in our communities and the countless hours that you volunteer for the people that you so wonderfully serve in Bedfordshire.”
Chief Inspector Jamie Langwith from the Community Cohesion team said: “It was fantastic to see so many of our faith groups represented and to understand some of the issues raised within the communities they represent.
“It was an important event to encourage two-way dialog so Bedfordshire Police continue to target the priorities of the community and we can keep our communities informed on all the fantastic work we do.”
Rev. Patrick Kandeh Superintendent for the Methodist Churches in south Beds said: “We leave here with the assurance that we can contact the Police as and when we need to.
“We had some great discussions and to be able to network with other faith groups was amazing. I feel privileged to have been invited to this event with the Commissioner.”
The event concluded with a Q&A panel where community members were able to ask questions either anonymously via an app or directly to the team.
If any faith groups would like more information on this event or upcoming events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org