Speed Faithing comes to Northumbria Police

25 Jan 2018 14:45 PM

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As Valentine's Day approaches a class of new police officers have been enrolled in a different type of speed dating - to find out more about the people they will be working hard to protect.

Northumbria Police is hosting a 'Speed Faithing' event for its new recruits which will see officers sit down with a host of different faith leaders.

The event is set to take the same format as a speed dating night with leaders from six faiths engaging with the class of student officers.  

Northumbria Police’s People Development Department have worked with the Council of Faiths to organise these events and arrange the attendance of the subject matter experts.

A class of 22 officers are split into smaller groups and then rotate round the room to speak to a different faith leader and get to know a bit about their faith.

Volunteers with experience and expertise from faiths including Islam, Sikhism, Church of England, Hinduism, Baha’i and Judaism then speak to the officers about how they could better engage with members of their community.

It gives the student officers the opportunity to ask questions of the faith leaders and equip themselves with knowledge that will assist them when they hit the beat.

Sgt Steve Kirby, who helped organise the event, said: "These types of inputs are an important aspect of our student officers learning and development, sharpening their skills in delivering a policing service to faith communities. 

"Understanding these different community needs will help them in their time as police officers whether that be helping them to gather vital intelligence or to deliver crime prevention advice.

"Often, we only find out about some offences through intelligence from our communities and this allows us to be in the best position to engage with people who historically don't engage with police.

This learning experience helps to strengthen the relationship between Northumbria Police and the communities we serve, and is one of many forums that help local people to contribute their expertise to the service we provide.

"Ultimately, it is inputs like this that help us to protect the people we serve and it is something that we want to embed in our officer training moving forward."

One other 'Speed Faithing' session has been held in the past including representatives from faiths including 
Zoroastrian and the Inter-Faith and Ethnic Relations Advisor at the Diocese of Newcastle.

If individuals are interested in a career in the police and would like the opportunity to find out more, perhaps specifically how police can accommodate your religious observances in employment, then please contact or