Role of PCC’s faith director is defended

Adam Simmonds
Adam Simmonds

The county’s deputy police commissioner has defended the decision to employ a faith director on a salary of more than £35,000.

The post has been advertised by PCC Adam Simmonds, and his deputy Peter Heaton said the role would help bring communities together and it was not solely focused on forming alliances with faith groups.

“It’s about looking to build grassroots involvement and relationships between the public and the police,” Mr Heaton said.

“It’s something that works very well in the United States. We think it’s worth investing some money in trying to prevent crime and help local people.”

The creation of the position has been criticsed by atheist and scientist Richard Dawkins, who told the BBC faith groups should not have a special liaison officer.

But Mr Heaton added: “I think Mr Dawkins has got excited without understanding the true facts about what we are trying to do.

“It’s disappointing that he hasn’t taken the trouble to apprise himself of the facts.”