Dipankar De Sarkar
London, Feb 11 The Metropolitan Police Service, also known as Scotland Yard, has joined forces with London's Hindu community to "discuss the safety concerns of Hindus in Britain".
Over 100 people representing London's Hindus joined Scotland Yard officers and members of parliament last week to mark the inauguration of the Hindu Consultation Forum, the police force announced.
The meeting, held in North West London, home to one of the largest communities of Hindus in Britain, was told the Hindu community does not put demands on the police or any other government department, Scotland Yard said on Tuesday.
The joint chair of the forum Gulzari Babber said apart from safety issues, the forum will also discuss how to increase the number of Hindus in the force, which is responsible for policing the British capital and its surrounding areas.
"The purpose of the formation of the Forum is to promote positive relationship and engagement between the Metropolitan Police Service and London's Hindu communities and to work in partnership to deliver the Met's Equality Scheme," Babber said.
"Although Hindu safety issues are similar to those of other communities, there is a perception that Hindus, because of their economic success and self-sufficiency, are not very forthcoming about their problems. We need to come forward and make demands on the police and the government," Babber said.
Commander Steve Bloomfield, who represented Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, said: "It is very important for the Met to work in partnership with the Hindu community in London. We are continuing to reach out by working with temples as well as schools and colleges to improve our relationship with young Hindus."
The Hindu Consultation Forum was set up last year to tackle the crime and safety concerns within Hindu communities in London and to help improve its confidence in Scotland Yard. According to police, it has marked "a significant milestone" in the relationship between Scotland Yard and London's Hindus.
Joint Chair of the HCF, Denise Milani, who is also Director of Diversity in the police force: "There are over 300,000 people from the Hindi community in London so they are a very important part of our city's vibrant diversity.
He said Scotland Yard will continue to meet with the forum to discuss "what can be done to help improve the safety of Hindu people in London".