On Monday 8th July, Strengthening Faith Institutions (SFI) in partnership with City Sikhs and Touchstone security solutions delivered an Introduction to safety and security awareness in Gurdwaras at Birmingham University.
Last year, there was an arson attack at Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara in Leeds and a Gurdwara in Edinburgh were both confirmed as a hate crime by West Yorkshire Police. There are continuous concerns from the Sikh community.
The event was well attended by the trustees of local Gurdwaras and members of the local Sikh Community. Gurdip Singh Landa, Director of Touchstone Security and a former Detective Superintendent at the Metropolitan Police and Mathew Shaer, Chief Superintendent gave practical advice on the importance of reporting hate crime and the mechanisms to do so such as.
Hypothetical scenarios were given; for example, what to do if someone comes into the Gurdwara with a suspicious package and how to spot the various threats. More so the key messages taken away were how to prepare a strategy and the importance of maintaining a relationship with the public services within the local area.
We would like to thank City Sikhs, Touchstone security solutions and Dr. Jagbir Jhutti-Johal, a Senior Lecturer in Sikh Studies at the University of Birmingham.