A CHRISTIAN police group which believes that the power of prayer can help catch criminals has been given a Â£10,000 Home Office grant to fight crime.
The Christian Police Association (CPA), reports The Telegraph, was handed the one-off cash payment to help publicise its message, which includes encouraging members of the public to pray that criminals are swiftly brought to justice.
The group believes that praying can help police to solve crimes, protect officers from injury on duty and reduce anti-social behaviour.
The cash helped the group launch the CoAct project – which encourages Christians and police to help fight crime together and even provides a set of guidelines advising people what to pray for.
The guidelines include praying for:
* Neighbourhood police officers and frontline police
* Success in preventing and detecting crime
* Catching offenders and bringing them to justice
* Sick and injured officers
* Officers to ‘resist corruption’ and to be able to ‘relax’ when they are off duty
* Local streets or housing estates plagued by crime – they are told to pray for ‘God’s peace and protection’ for the area
* A reduction in crime
The guidelines also suggest that worshippers find out about trouble hotspots in their area and pray for their salvation.
The CoAct website states:
Do some research, read local newspapers, talk to your Neighbourhood Police Officer, check out the police web site, find out the trouble hot spots, listen to local radio and TV news and use relevant items as prayer fuel. Be informed when praying and be specific. As you find out about a particular issue, continue to pray about every aspect of it. Keep praying and keep watching. It is important to let groups know you are praying.
Asked whether the power of prayer could help reduce crime or be used to solve crime, a spokesman for the CPA said:
There is circumstantial evidence to suggest that prayer may help to reduce crime and community tension.
Its website adds:
Praying specifically for your local policing situation may well bring tangible results. Individuals and churches in neighbourhoods can, so to speak, â€˜adopt a cop’ by praying for specific officers, staff and teams at their local police station, as well as places and issues, and so offer that prayerful support. Specifically find out the names of your local neighbourhood policing team and commit to praying for them.
Don Axcell, the executive director of the 2,000-strong CPA and a retired sergeant for the Met, told Police Review this week:
In one particular area, an officer was investigating an incident but he had not been able to apprehend a suspect. He encouraged a church to pray for him and within days a suspect had been arrested and charged. In another area, an officer encouraged churches to pray about domestic burglary and over the year it came down by 30 per cent. We do not discount good police work, which is why we call it circumstantial evidence.
The CPA encourages visitors to its website to watch this YouTube videeo featuring Cardiff-based Jim Hillier, of South Wales Police, who tells viewers that he never misses an opportunity to spread the Gospel among his colleagues.
Hat tip: PaulEd