Northants faith groups asked to help police and fire service increase community safety

The Force, Fire, Faith Dialogue event was organised by the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI), which was set up by Northamptonshire's Police Commissioner Adam Simmonds

The Force, Fire, Faith Dialogue event was organised by the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI), which was set up by Northamptonshire's Police Commissioner Adam Simmonds

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Faith leaders in Northamptonshire have been encouraged to think about ways they could work with the police and fire service to reduce crime and increase community safety.

More than 60 people from a variety of faith groups visited Northamptonshire Police’s headquarters on Wednesday, December 3, to discuss how they could work with the emergency services in the future.

Chief Constable Adrian Lee, who welcomed people to the Force, Fire, Faith Dialogue Event, said members of faith groups could do vital work with the police to help protect the most vulnerable people in society.

He said: “We don’t think we’re the sole keepers of knowledge and skills when it comes to working with communities. Faith groups do a huge amount of that work and we can learn from them and they may also be able to learn from us.”

The event was organised by the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI), which was set up by Northamptonshire’s Police Commissioner Adam Simmonds.

It was also part of Northamptonshire Police’s Futures Programme, which is designed to put communities at the heart of policing.

Helen Boardman, the director of the OFBCI said: “We know that faith groups support victims in their communities and provide compassion and care. So we really want to work with organisations who do good on behalf of the people of this county.”

Mark Ainge, the head of community services at the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, also told delegates that working with the community would be vital for the fire service in the future.

He said: “We want to work with communities to understand their needs and help them to help themselves.

“We’ve know that we’ve not got all the answers and if faith groups have got ideas that could make the community safer, we want to hear them.”

The event was the first of six monthly events which are designed to help improve collaboration between the police force, the fire service and faith communities, with the aim of making Northamptonshire the safest place in England.