A team of neighbourhood officers took part in a 16-hour fast, as part of a Ramadhan challenge to show solidarity with Muslim colleagues who are partaking in the month of fasting.
Seven officers, who took part in the fast, fought thirst, hunger and tiredness, as they continued to carry out warrants across the county on the day.
Sergeant Rod Williams, from the West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I am knackered! I am full of admiration and praise for the community. The best thing was opening the fast with my colleagues.
“Aside from the obvious, actually taking part in this started something I never realised before. It started a conversation with my son and daughter about what it was that I was doing. It helped open a dialogue with the younger generation about differences, religions and cultures, which can only be a positive thing.”
Chief Inspector Rachel Handford, in charge of Response and Local Policing in the West of the county, said: “I’ve always had the utmost respect for different cultures, but after today, that’s increased even more!
“I’m even more humbled to have taken part in this with my team and it’s a great feeling opening our fast together.
“It’s been an intense day, and to think that some of our colleagues do this day after day, makes you appreciate the commitment they make.”
West Neighbourhood Policing Inspector, Andy Blaize, said: “I was under no illusion that it was going to be hard, and there have been some highs and lows throughout the day.
“It’s been good to look forward to something to eat, but it makes you appreciate that there are people across the world and even in our county, who sadly miss meals as a daily occurrence through no choice, so to miss a meal or two for us, wasn’t so much of a hardship in the grand scheme of things.”
Police Staff Investigator, Sophia Perveen, who organised the challenge, said: “It’s been inspiring to see non-Muslim colleagues take part in the fast, really get into the spirit of it, and start conversations around diversity that might not otherwise happen.
“Quite often, Muslim officers will fast and carry out long stretches of duty or like today, a day of police warrants, and be unfazed by the lack of food or water. It really shows the level of commitment and self-discipline these officers bring to the police force.”
(Left to right) Sergeant Willaims, Inspector Blaize and Chief Inspector Handford, await fast opening time
Chief Inspector Handford with Amarjit Atwal from the Sikh community centre, handing over the food to officers