A CALL has come for more faith groups to come together to help keep their local area safe and free from crime.
It comes from West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster after he was impressed by an initiative in the Hillfields area of Coventry which saw faith communities join up to form a new Neighbourhood Watch group.
The scheme aims to promote a sense of community and encourage people to help ensure faith centres and their surrounding areas remain safe and secure.
The group, formed in 2019 and the first of its kind in the UK, is made up of people from 12 faiths and beliefs including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Humanists.
Together they meet regularly, share resources and have regular conversations with police on community safety.
Mr Foster, said: “In the run up to the PCC election I promised to work closely with different religious communities to tackle crime and keep people safe.
“The Coventry scheme has impressed me enormously. The group share resources and look out for each other.
“Their work in helping the police tackle violence and anti-social behaviour in the Hillfields area is to be commended.
“I hope other faith groups around our region will follow suit and use the Coventry initiative as inspiration.”
Deepak Naik, of Coventry charity Together In Action which supported the pilot and the launch, said: “This pilot is about normalising the idea that you can look after your place of worship by looking after another place of worship, and that sense of neighbourliness and community like this is more important than ever in the context of the pandemic.
“It recognises that communities, faith leaders, and volunteers offer valuable services to our communities.
“We are always looking to expand the network and establish links, and we need more people to get involved.”
“We hope more people will want to get involved. We are exploring ways to share our learning, locally, regionally and nationally, thereby expanding number of people engaged in active interfaith co-operations and activity.”