Suffolk Police look to partnerships with local Churches

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Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, and Suffolk Chief Constable, Gareth Wilson, met with Christian Leaders today in Ipswich to discuss how they can work together to address different needs in the local community.

Hosted by the Cinnamon Network, a UK organisation that helps churches reach out and build relationships with those in greatest need, representatives from the police, Church and civic leaders,  Christian and secular charities and projects, heard how this initiative was being run in 10 police forces across the UK.

Gathering at St Matthews Church, Ipswich, the message from all speakers was clear – that there is a real opportunity to work together to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, through organised social action initiatives.

“The voluntary sector brings people of passion and principle….Repentance and forgiveness make for an important statement” – Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police & Crime Commissioner.

“Few people see the needs of the most vulnerable….unless you work with them it is easy to be ignorant of the needs that abject poverty can bring…..We have a real opportunity to work together to enable the link between police and community.” Gareth Wilson, Suffolk Chief Constable.

“One agency cannot work effectively on its own…..The work of churches is more effective when done with others.” Danni Malone, Cinnamon Network Leadership Team.

The Demand Reduction Partnerships (DRP) is a partnership between Cinnamon Network and a police force, in which local churches are supported to start social action projects that will reduce demand on police time and resources.

Attendees heard how up to 75% of issues that first come to the police are about welfare rather than crime. With increasing demand of statutory services, it can become increasingly challenging to know where people can be referred to receive the best help and support. Chief Constable Gareth Wilson spoke of harnessing the passion people of faith have for their local community.

Speakers spoke of creating formal partnerships, building trust, and sharing resources. The Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner has provided funding for five churches in the county to start Cinnamon recognised projects between October 2017 and October 2018. Cinnamon Network also offers grants to local churches to develop new projects.

Nick Amis, Cinnamon Network Advisor to Suffolk encouraged local churches to consider what they are doing well, and to look for the bigger picture of what is happening in their towns and local communities. “Often our neighbour is trying to do the same thing….Does God have a plan bigger than what is going on in our own Churches? Together we can do so much more.”

For more information about Cinnamon Network, and how your Church could be involved, visit www.cinnamonnetwork.co.uk or contact Suffolk Advisor Nick Amis; nickamis@cinnamonnetwork.co.uk – 07979 366654.