In 2016 I was asked to write a report by a member of the House of Lords who did not want to rely on the usual information offered.
The report would be on the the challenges faced by the authorities when policing and investigating the Muslim population of Britain. The investigative report would also It will also examine Muslim attitudes to law enforcement, including
how individuals have been treated when reporting crimes to the police. I carried out this in conjunction with a person called Toni.
I started by contacting the police service in the usual way and as you can guess was stone walled and it was impossible to get a response. So I used my own contacts to get the door opened and happy to say was put in touch and was then granted unrestricted access to police from all the services in the UK. Before long I had many police former police officers and serving ones who gladly gave up their time to talk to me. I would to say thanks to everyone who responded and helped with the report and you can see the questions below.
Would especially like to say thanks to all those police officers past and present and the many charities who replied.
The first draft of this report came to 161 pages and it is now with the members of the House of Lords.
The support I received from Metropolitan Police, Home office and Paul for arranging for me to have access to all the other police forces was amazing as well as other agencies and SO15 who kindly allowed me access to what was relevant. CPS were great.
I followed up on the report in 2017-2019 to see what has changed over time and I hope to update the results here in 2020.
Here is what the report covered -
INDEPENDENT RESEARCH REPORT
Domestic violence or sexual abuse can occur in any relationship, regardless of ethnicity, religion, class, gender, age or lifestyle. Yet there are concerns that the police and local authorities are failing to identify cases within ethnic minority communities, and in particular within Muslim communities. Agencies must not downplay ethnic, ideological or religious dimensions of abuse if it means better identifying the perpetrators, bringing them to justice and supporting the victims.
This report will highlight the challenges faced by the authorities when policing and investigating the Muslim population of Britain. It will also examine Muslim attitudes to law enforcement, including how individuals have been treated when reporting crimes to the police.
- Do the police feel equipped to fulfill their responsibilities within Muslim communities?
- Is official current guidance a help or a hindrance?
- Which changes are needed to improve operational standards and community policing
- What are the main barriers facing victims? Are Muslim women disproportionately affected? And/or are there ideological beliefs held by some Muslims regarding white women and girls which may justify sexual abuse?
- Are there genuine concerns about the authorities wrongly upsetting British Muslims?
The report was shared via the members and I am hoping soon to be able to share some of the findings. The report was also condensed down in size.
For me it was not just going to end there, because if you are lucky enough to get unrestricted access you have a chance to ask other questions. I got to meet Muslim leaders in their communities and sit in on what would normally be closed meetings. I spent time with specialist police officers and also spoke with other agencies that have to deal with terrorism on a daily basis in the UK and abroad.
What I found interesting was the very different attitudes of police officers towards ethnic minorities especially the Muslim community that they engage with in the course of carry out their duties. Likewise the attitudes not just of the Muslim community leaders but also everyday folk including the youth and how they viewed the police service and CPS.
As mentioned I hope to be able to share more of the findings soon but for me the biggest theme that ran through my talks with people was the capacity for HATE! The misconceptions on both sides, political correctness and the lack of community and civil education that is needed.
Since 2016 I have stayed in touch with a good number of people to see if things have improved and also quietly helping with community teams when my health allows. Would like to continue looking at ways to help better communication between the religious organisations, NRMs and other faith groups and the Police and other regulatory bodies.