Help keep our places of worship and communities safe, police say

tanya

Religious leaders attended a packed event at the Civic Centre hosted by Harrow Safer Neighbourhood Police team to raise awareness of how to keep places of worship safe in Harrow.

Police organised the event to highlight their commitment to safety as a number one priority for the community – following on from two Hindu temple burglaries in November 2018 in Harrow and Brent and hate crime incidents at the London Ayyppan Temple in Harrow, as well as the recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and Christchurch, New Zealand.

Speakers included the Police, the Council and members of the Community Security Trust – a charity that provides security advice and training for Jewish organisations, schools and synagogues.

Host of the event Inspector Tanya Sprunks, in charge of Harrow Neighbourhoods, said:

“We rely on members of the community to be our eyes and ears and many times, their calls have been a vital lead for us. Everyone needs to be aware of how to spot suspicious behaviour and a whole community working together is exceptionally strong.”

Talks included how to create a culture of security and keep religious premises safe, counter terrorism and how to spot and report suspicious behaviour, how to deal with hate crime and prevention from burglary and responsible information sharing.

Lead Member for Crime and Community Safety Councillor Krishna Suresh said:

 

“It’s my vision that every single mosque, synagogue, church and temple in Harrow works together to share information and knowledge, so that we are all aiming for the same goal together in tackling these complex issues.”

 

Police Constable Chris Peel spoke about Counter Terrorism and how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and report it. He said:

 

“Terrorism is an act – it doesn’t have a race or a religion. Terrorists are just like criminals, in that they will need to plan an attack. That is why it’s critical that people are aware of suspicious behaviour and how to identify it and report it. Everyone knows what’s normal for their community, so if you spot anything at all that feels unfamiliar or doesn’t feel right – please report it and dial 999, as your instincts could save lives.”