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Met chief is an admirer of Hill street patrols

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London’s second most senior policeman visited Stamford Hill to salute the work of the local division of Shomrim, the Orthodox community safety patrol.

Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey praised the volunteer group’s “exceptional” contribution at its second annual meeting.

The relationship with Shomrim, he said, “works well for the Metropolitan Police Service but, most importantly, works well for the communities of London”.

A sizeable delegation of policemen joined Shomrim supporters to celebrate its achievements at an event more redolent of a kiddush than a meeting. Hot cholent, kugel and kishkes were served to guests on tables decorated with bridge rolls and schmaltz herring.

Over the past three months Shomrim has assisted in 51 arrests in the local area and helped to find seven missing people.

Mr Mackey noted that its efforts in thwarting burglars and other criminals benefited the borough’s residents generally. He highlighted its outreach to the Muslim community — Shomrim have helped with mosque security.

As the recent Paris terrorist attacks demonstrated, there were people who sought to drive a wedge between communities.

“One of the most effective answers we have is here tonight — people working together in the interests of all our communities.

“It’s people coming together that don’t let differences in culture or religion become a distraction from our collective humanity.”

Justice Minister Simon Hughes also thanked the group “for being part of the process of upholding the rule of law”.

He was applauded when, turning to some young people in the audience, he remarked that “our job is to make sure
you grow up in a borough and a city where you can feel safe to be the sort of person you want to be.

“If we uphold the rights of people of faith here, then we can expect other countries to do the same.”

Chief Superintendent Simon Laurence, who became Hackney’s borough commander in June, revealed that he had been so impressed with Shomrim as “extra eyes and ears” that police now shared with them predictive crime maps — information about where criminals are thought likely to strike.

“This has resulted in many arrests,” he said.

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