I would like to focus this month’s column by discussing diversity. In the Leeds South community, we are fortunate to benefit from broad cultural diversity, as highlighted by a number of recent religious celebrations.
Whilst many of us may have marked the Christian celebration of Easter, others will have celebrated the Jewish Passover and the Sikh and Hindu festival Vaisakhi. Elsewhere in our communities, for many people it is theIslamic holy month of Ramadan, soon to be followed by Eid.
There are also many other religious celebrations throughout the calendar, and your Neighbourhood Policing Team will continue to provide support and reassurance to community and religious celebrations where appropriate.
Staff from the team have been patrolling local Mosques in support of Ramadan, and I was fortunate enough to visit some of our the Mosques, where I discussed crime prevention, hate crime and Police recruitment. MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks) is an organisation providing excellent safety advice for Muslims participating in Ramadan and Eid. Their website: www.tellmamauk.org contains further information and advice, as well as confidential support services relating to hate crime.
In terms of crime prevention, I would advise anyone attending prayer times to be mindful of suspicious people or vehicles, and to report anything of concern to the Police. Leave your homes locked and secure when attending prayers. My officers have been conducting patrols in relevant areas to minimise the risk of burglary and similar crime during prayer times.
With reference to hate crime, West Yorkshire Police remain committed to dealing with such reports effectively. Hate crime, regardless of the nature and extent, is something that is exceptionally damaging to the victim, their family and the wider community. Hate crime remains under-reported and I would encourage anyone victim of it to report it to the police.
Regardless of which community you belong to, if you are a victim of hate crime, the police are here to listen to you, help you, and to take appropriate action. Further information on the force campaign, entitled ‘Hate Hurts’ is available online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/hatecrime and the below poster has further details of how to make reports to the police.
West Yorkshire Police remains under-represented by women and people from Ethnic Minority backgrounds. In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, West Yorkshire Police offers those from under-represented groups the opportunity to apply to become a Police Officer at any time.
Assuming the application meets the eligibility requirements, it will be progressed through an initial recruitment stage, but then held until general Police Officer recruitment is open to everyone. Policing is a profession open to all, and to make our Police Service truly representative of our diverse community, I would encourage people of all backgrounds to consider a career in Policing.
Anyone interested in applying can find more information online at www. westyorkshire .police.uk/jobs- volunteer.
Whatever your background, community or belief, I hope that you, your families and loved ones continue to happily and safely celebrate any events of meaning to you.
This post was written by Inspector Tom Perry