London MET police join Sikh community festival

THE MET took the opportunity to engage with Sikh and other communities this month at a special festival in Hillingdon. The event, which saw thousands of people coming together with Sikhs from all over the world, celebrated the special festival of Prakash, which featured a spiritual reading from the Sikh holy book as well as singing of hymns.

Local Hillingdon officers were joined by colleagues in the Met’s Special Constabulary, Ealing and SO18 who were all on hand to talk and give advice to the community about crime prevention, knife crime, forced marriages, as well as to promote the MPS as an employer of choice for recruitment in volunteer roles. As a result around 25 community members showed an interest in volunteering with the Met, either as a special constable, cadet or other volunteer.

Punjabi speaking officers proved a hit with the visitors and they seized the chance to further develop a good relationship with the Sikh community. Also at the festival, which was organised by Guru Nanak Sikh School, was trainee police constable Gurbinder Dhinsa – the first baptised female Sikh police officer wearing a turban in the Metropolitan Police Service.

The Prakash festival ran continuously over three and it is estimated over 6000 people attended, including many who had travelled from other countries to join in the celebrations.

Assisting with organising the Prakash Festival event Mr Manjit Singh, ICT Teacher at Guru Nanak Sikh School thanked the Met for supporting it, he said: "It has been good to bring communities together at the end of the school year. One of the principles of Sikhism is to serve the community and policing is one way of fulfilling this. We thank the police for their commitment and support. It was good to see officers engaged with the children and many visitors have left with a very positive impression of the Met."

Special Police Constable Amarjit Heir who arranged the police engagement added: "It is good to get support from various police units as this gives us the opportunity to work in collaboration with other boroughs. Our presence at the event was appreciated by all who came in contact with us."

PS Viki Eves of Hillingdon Safer Transport Team said: "The Safer Transport Team thoroughly enjoyed being at this event and gained a good appreciation of the Sikh culture. It was fantastic to see so many children here and this gave us the opportunity to promote the free oyster card applications with them and outline the behaviour code when travelling."

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