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Forum aims to improve Muslim-police relations
Friday, 13 April 2012
MEETING: Metropolitan Police officers and representatives of the Muslim community get round a table at the London Muslim Communities Forum.
SENIOR police officers and Muslim community members have taken part in the inaugural meeting of the Metropolitan Police Service’s new London Muslim Communities Forum (LMCF).
The LMCF has become the new strategic advisory body for the force to help build better relations with London’s Muslim communities.
Last Monday’s meeting saw the forum’s terms and objectives discussed, with members having the opportunity to influence the key issues to address over the next 12 months.
Other issues discussed included stop and search, security and safety for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, how to better work with young Muslims in the capital, and issues affecting Muslim women.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Stephen Kavanagh, chaired the meeting at New Scotland Yard. He said: “London has a diverse and vibrant Muslim population who make a positive contribution to this great city. The Metropolitan Police Service is proud to be London’s police service and we want to engage with all communities to keep them safe.
“This is the beginning of a renewed commitment to engage with the Muslim community in London, and our new forum gives us vital insight into some key crime and safety issues and allows us to discuss ways to address them.
“There is a need for the Met to build on the good work of the Muslim Safety Forum to engage more broadly with all of London’s diverse and emerging Muslim communities. We feel our new set up, which covers local as well as London issues will improve how we respond to the needs of Muslim communities across London.
“Approximately 50 per cent of London’s Muslim population is under the age of 24 years, which is younger than the population of London as a whole. So as to inform and shape our future policing more effectively, we need to involve and listen to young people in a more meaningful way.”
Mobeen Butt, from the Asian Youth Alliance, who attended the meeting, said: “I am encouraged to see a forum like this being developed to assist the Muslim communities in raising their concerns and issues from the grass roots. It will give a diverse range of Muslims a chance to have a two way conversation with the Met Police at an impacting level.
“I am pleasantly surprised that a youth worker like me has a chance to affect London’s policing at this level.”
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