Norfolk officer to drive new Faith and Police initiative
A Norfolk Christian police officer has been appointed to help drive forward a new multi-faith initiative designed to galvanise the support of faith groups to support the police and to help address problems and challenges within communities. Keith Morris reports.
Police Sergeant Marie Reavey has been seconded to the new Faith and Police Together initiative for the next year to help drive it forward.
Marie said: “Faith and Police together is aimed at building links between local police and their local faith communities. We believe that faith communities have a major role to play in bringing about community transformation and cohesion. When the police and faith communities work together to tackle some of the issues that the police are also facing, we believe that we will see lives and communities positively transformed.
“This, in turn can lead to reduced demand on police services, a valuable contribution to a service that has extensive demands placed upon it. Policing covers a vast range of issues within society and it is not always crime that is the problem.”
The project has identified four priority areas to concentrate on and to encourage faith communities to engage with over the next year. These priority areas include: addiction, homelessness, youth gangs and youth knife crime (youth related crime) and loneliness.
“We want to support the continued growth of strong and effective connections between the local police service, faith groups and local projects,” said Marie, “thereby building the Faith and Police network in support of local communities. There are many projects and evidence of good practice already in existence and we hope to utilise and work with some of those projects to help give faith communities templates and ideas to assist them locally to meet their needs.
“We will be promoting case studies and initiatives throughout the year. We want to see safer communities and the most vulnerable cared for and believe that this project will help deliver that ambition.
Deputy Chief Constable for Devon and Cornwall, Paul Netherton, who is part of the group, said: “Faith and Police together is a multi-faith initiative designed to galvanise the support of faith groups to support the police and to help address problems and challenges within our communities. Often faith groups have a high motivation to help within our society but sometimes don’t know how they can help or even how they talk to the police to find out what the problems are or how they can assist.
“My experience of working with groups and churches is that once you start the conversations you unlock massive social capital that can transform an area or make a real difference to a problem. This could be around Street Angels patrolling the night time economy, drop in centres for young people or cafes where the homeless or lonely can find support. The benefit for the police and all the public sector is significant in terms of reducing demand and finding long term solutions.
“This is a great initiative and is welcomed by the police and will lead to some transformational change to some of the most challenging social issues across the country.”
If you are keen to find out how you can get involved please check out the website www.faithandpolicetogether.org.uk
If you are working in the four priority areas within your community or would like more details about the new project please contact Marie Reavey on
Pictured above is the Faith and Police Together Steering Group, including Marie Reavey (fourth left) at a recent meeting with Steve Clifford CEO of The Evangelical Alliance (right).