Officers join community in ‘festival of friendship’ mela
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Local officers were proud to support the Northampton Mela at the weekend, which drew in crowds despite the rain.
The annual festival, only in its second successful year, was held in Beckets Park, Northampton on Sunday, July 28, and was an opportunity for people from different walks of life to come together and celebrate the music, art, food and culture of Northamptonshire’s diverse communities.
Those attending had the opportunity to meet armed response officers and explore an armed response vehicle.
Local community officers were on hand as well staff at the police recruitment stand who were available to talk about careers in the police.
Officers from the Force’s Prevent team also attended to show support for community cohesion.
Fire and rescue colleagues were also among the many community groups and organisations taking part.
Chief Inspector James Willis, from neighbourhood policing, said: “We are proud to support the Mela this year which was fantastic and even some rain wasn’t able to put people off from coming out to enjoy this event.
“Many people attended to celebrate the diversity of our county in a beautiful gathering of cultures.
“It was a pleasure to attend, and we’d like to thank Buddies of Beckets – the volunteer group who organise the event - for organising an incredible event, and the public for their support.
“There were many different stands, but it was great to see people exploring our recruitment tent which will hopefully help push our police officer applications. Anyone interested in joining the force can find out further information from our website.”
Sophia Perveen, chair of the Association of Muslim Police , who helped to organise the event, said: “There was a great atmosphere on the day and I am proud of our communities coming together.”
Northampton Mayor Nazim Choudary, speaking about the Mela, said: “It’s beautiful, absolutely lovely. Unfortunately we don’t have the weather, but I hope this grows every year. It’s good for community cohesion and is great to see different communities together.”
Nick Stephens, a retired police officer who chairs the Buddies of Beckets park group, said: “After so much sun and heat prior to our Mela, it was a bit of a challenge for our performers and stall holders to face wet conditions but we were not daunted by the rain. There was still a great atmosphere and Northampton’s community spirit was not dampened at all.
“The support from the Borough Council, University of Northampton, Northampton Interfaith Forum and the Police was crucial to be able to stage this event and build new friendships amongst all our different communities."