Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has thanked the region’s interfaith leaders for supporting her call to take action against violence on the streets by establishing a Violence Reduction Partnership.
Approximately 30 faith leaders gave their support to the proposals after the Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, outlined her aims at one of their regular meetings held to improve community safety, solidarity and unity.
The Commissioner used the meeting to explain how the new approach had come about and the progress made so far. She also took the opportunity to ask leaders for their ideas and suggestions on how violent crime should be tackled.
Since announcing her intentions in May, the Commissioner has been meeting leaders and Chief Executives from across a wide range of sectors to gain their support for the proposal. In June, in partnership with the Force, the region’s five local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups, she secured £3.37m of funding from the Home Secretary’s Serious Violence Fund to work with partners to establish the region’s first Violence Reduction Unit.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Our faith leaders hold a unique and influential position, playing a vital role in raising awareness of issues, influencing attitudes, behaviour and practices. They help to shape the social values of their communities and that’s why I was keen to secure their support for this new approach.
“The causes of violence are complex and deep-seated. What is clear is that our current activity will not, if we keep on doing things the same way, bring about an end to the violence. If we are determined to make a lasting change and break the violent hold that some gangs have over some of our neighbourhoods, the police cannot do it alone.
"It is essential that all of those who can help the police, embrace this opportunity to do so and I am asking leaders across a wide range of sectors to get on board. I was grateful to Merseyside’s faith leaders for listening to my calls for action and responding so thoughtfully and with encouragement.
"I have no doubt they will play an integral role in this work and I am excited about involving them in our future plans.”
The Reverend Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, who convenes the Faith Leaders’ Group, said, “The Police Commissioner’s proposal had the unanimous support of the Faith Leaders who all recognize the impact that violent crime has on all our communities. We know that the solution to the problem lies in partnership with each other, and in a change in the culture which seemingly validates this behaviour.
"We need to work together and support this initiative.”