Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless joined other senior Northamptonshire Police officers and community members across various faiths for a virtual interfaith Ramadhan event aimed at rekindling community spirit.
The well-attended event, which is usually held annually at the Hilton Hotel, was hosted online this year due to Covid restrictions.
The event was streamed live on YouTube on Saturday, May 8, and included a live music performance.
Organised by the Northamptonshire Association of Muslim Police, in conjunction with the charity Dialogue Society, the virtual gathering brought together people from different backgrounds and faiths in a series of speeches aimed at increasing understanding and dialogue.
The theme for the evening, ‘Rekindling Community Spirit’, was chosen in the hopes of reviving feelings of support, love and trust that may have felt absent through the pandemic.
Speaking at the event, Chief Superintendent Ash Tuckley, Head of Local Policing, said: “Ramadhan highlights and symbolises to me, what a lot of people have done over the past year to get through Covid. And what they will continue to do, to get beyond it. The caring, sharing, supporting each other, the generosity, charity, the community spirit it brings and really importantly that reflection that we all need to do more often.”
Also speaking at the event, Chief Inspector Rachael Handford, for West Northamptonshire response and local policing, said: “For all of us, last year was pretty challenging. So much tragedy was faced by so many people. In the midst of it all there were so many examples of communities coming together and that is what we need to harness.
She also quoted one of her favourites poets, Maya Angelou, to demonstrate the importance of community and actions: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Chair of the Northamptonshire Association of Muslim Police, Sophia Perveen, who organised the event, said: “Bringing communities together has always been important, but more so now in the current climate.
“Introducing and showing people that individuals from different walks of life and different professions can come together in dialogue, in engaging, can only help to improve our understanding and our county.”