Metropolitan Police Event Blog
Last week, alongside our member organisation, the Somali Youth Development Resource Centre (SYDRC) we hosted a police community engagement event with Somali community residents in North London.
Current serving and former Somali police officers, the Safer Neighbourhood Team, and Victim Support attended to speak directly with the Somali community. The aim of the meeting was to see how a collaboration between the community and police might improve the effectiveness of police community engagement activity.
We know that there is fear, doubt, a lack of knowledge in the community and negative media reporting regarding the police making it harder for positive community engagement.
Holding this event at a venue where the community had an existing relationship made members feel comfortable enough to interact with the hosts. Receiving information from people who look like them, speak their language with lived experiences and knowledge of their cultural needs enabled the participants to learn more about the different police departments' responsibilities and roles as well as enquiring about the support which is available to them. The Somali police officers gave an insight into life in the force and provided information on career opportunities in the Metropolitan police, an important feature for our community youth members.
The event also offered an opportunity for the police to ask and answer questions from the community. We have received extremely positive feedback from the community who attended the event. The majority of participants stated that they felt this was an opportunity to build an equal partnership between the community and the police based on respect and allowed an exchange of information.
Preparations are now underway for our next police event. Details of which will be available shortly.