In relation to our open letter to PCC Kathryn Holloway, we want to be completely clear that our letter does not represent a personal attack on our Police and Crime Commissioner. Public office comes with considerable responsibility. It is vital that elected representatives are held to account for their words and actions. This is the essence of democratic values.
We fully support Bedfordshire Police in their campaign to secure appropriate funding for the county. However, this should not be done by scapegoating our town or by demonising minority communities. As outlined and comprehensively discussed in our letter, we have a number of concerns about the actions and conduct of our PCC including (but not limited to) the belief that some of the comments made to us, in our context, are racist and Islamophobic. Whilst she may not agree with our perception, with respect, it is not for her to define the referents of racism. Indeed, this is clear in legal and policing guidelines.
We hope that over the days and weeks, Ms Holloway will reflect on the importance of good communication. This includes not only the value of how we speak to others but also about how we listen to others. We remain open to constructive and meaningful dialogue to address the concerns that we have raised.
Luton Mosques have a strong relationship with our police force, working collaboratively on a number of projects, and this work will continue.
1. Our letter to the Bedfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner can be found here: http://lutonmosques.org/open-letter-to-pcc-kathryn-holloway-following-inaccurate-hasc-statement
2. The CPS uses the following definitions agreed with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to identify racist or religious incidents/crimes: “Any incident/crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race” or “Any incident/crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on a person’s religion or perceived religion.” More details here: https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/racist-and-religious-hate-crime-prosecution-guidance