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Police chief recruits Jesus to fight crime

Police chief recruits Jesus to fight crime

Last month the Northampshire Telegraph reported that the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Adam Simmonds, above, is to launch a ground-breaking approach to tackling violent crime by gathering ‘influential people’ who can ‘help bring about the necessary changes’ to achieve a 40 per cent reduction in violent crime in the county.

More power to his elbow, I hear you cry. But wait …

The National Secular Society reveals that Simmonds – Britain’s youngest Police and Crime Commissioner –  is a “committed Christian” who, in 2014, set up the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) – a scheme to “nurture, equip and enable” mainly Christian organisations to help reduce crime on his patch, despite promising that:

 The Office will not favour any particular organisation on the grounds of faith.

However, virtually all the organisations awarded funding so far have been Christian.

In an interview with the Jesus Army website last year, Simmonds – a Conservative Party representative – said he would “robustly” challenge the notion that Britain’s future belonged to secular humanism.

I passionately believe that religion can be – and is –  a huge force for good in our society, and that faith drives many people to do amazing things.

The director of the OFBCI, Helen Boardman, who is paid between £35,000 and £42,000, described herself as an “active Christian” with:

A real passion for people who are broken and lost.

The NSS has expressed concern that funding is being awarded without any measure of how effective the initiatives are. NSS campaigns manager Stephen Evans said:

Public funding should be dependent on objective assessments of whether the initiatives are genuinely effective and represent value for money. An active Christian with a ‘real passion for people who are broken and lost’ may not be best placed to objectively asses the merits of spending public money on church- based outreach programmes.

Of the £63,410 given out by the OFBCI since its launch in January 2014, £50,000 has been awarded to Christian groups, with the rest going to non-faith based community initiatives.

£16,000 was awarded Crime2Christ to establish school chaplains in three secondary schools to “support young people after school “and have:

A visible presence on routes to and from school, on bus routes, around the local community and local shops.

Other funded projects include a 12-step Recovery Support Programme run by the Full Gospel Church; Developing Street Pastors run by Corby Street Pastors to provide “a reassuring presence during the night time in Corby”; a family intervention programme run by Crime2Christ; and a crime prevention scheme run by the New Ark Foundation, which promotes:

Health, education and general social welfare of individuals and families … through culturally competent and faith sensitive services.

Stephen Evans argued that there was a danger that such faith initiatives were being used to “paper over cracks in public service provision”, but also raised concerns about the appropriateness of funding groups with a specific religious focus.

Many Christians have long been concerned about their diminishing relevance and influence in modern society and churches are increasingly using social action to give themselves a purpose. But there is an evangelical agenda behind much of this ‘outreach’ work and everybody needs to be clear about that.

Assisting churches to deliver the gospel of Jesus to the unchurched isn’t a proper use of public money – so police forces should think twice before actively supporting or funding churches’ missionary work.

Community initiatives, secular and religious, can provide real benefits to local communities, but faith-based projects should be self-funded and supplementary to secular public services, because in a multi-faith and increasingly non-religious society, public services should be equally appropriate and accessible to all – and there’s a big question mark over how inclusive groups with specific religious ethos can be.

Lack of funding provided to non-Christian faith groups has been also criticised by local religious leaders.

The Reverend David Wiseman, of Northampton Inter Faith Forum, told the BBC that he was “disappointed” only Christian religious groups had received money and Krishna Thakrar, of Wellingborough’s Hindu Temple, said he felt “excluded.” A number of non-Christian religious leaders the BBC contacted said they had never heard of the scheme. Thakrar said:

If those administrating it cannot contact certain groups they shouldn’t be running it.

Evans commented:

Another good reason to keep religion out of policing is its potential for divisiveness and the inevitable competing demands of religious groups who feel excluded.

Simmonds  has not yet commented on the controversy surrounding the project.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

32 responses to “Police chief recruits Jesus to fight crime”

  1. Vanity Unfair says:

    We’re all going to look silly if Northamptonshire becomes crime-free.

  2. Broga says:

    So how is Jesus going to get to work? Will he be in uniform patrolling the streets? Will he be armed with a taser? How bonkers can you get? This man is a waste of time as are the rest of the Police Commissioners. We need to get rid of these drains on our taxes.

  3. Angela_K says:

    We know where this could lead with those criminals who profess christianinsanity being let off and not charged with a offence, as a judge did some time ago in the case of a muslim.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Vanity Unfair: Not much chance of that going by this recent report.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-31586386

    I thought these sort of “faith initiatives” were a thing of the past, but how wrong I have been proved to be. From my own experience as a Christian, I know exactly how they operate, and, as with food banks and homeless shelters, their efforts are shamelessly directed at proselytization, promotion of their organization, and getting their hands on as much extra funding as is humanly possible!

  5. Ivan says:

    If religion is useful in fighting crime, how come the most religious communities in the country are prisons?

  6. Newspaniard says:

    How do these people keep their jobs? Oh wait, from Dave down, all the cabinet or people with power, profess some belief in sky fairies. Roll on the election.

  7. barriejohn says:

    Newspaniard: I posted the following link on another thread earlier today.

    http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/election-politics/politics-and-election-news/atheist-clegg-says-humans-are-spiritual-beings-1-7136278

    What makes you think that the election is going to change anything?

  8. Broga says:

    It’s all to do with forcing their superstitions on the rest of us. These weirdos can’t resist it and isn’t it great for them that they can help themselves to large sums of our money while doing it. Eric Pickles is another as he continues with his bonkers efforts to force people to pray before council meetings.

    Could a declared atheist get justice from these people? You know the answer as well as I do.

    I try not to be lookist or fattist or whatever but the look of Simmonds sends a chill through me.

  9. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Talk of the devil.

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2015/02/nss-rebukes-eric-pickles-for-claims-about-aggressive-secularists

    As with Clegg (and no doubt Foggy and Compo as well), it’s “aggressive secularists” that are in the wrong!

  10. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: PIckles is a disgrace. “Calling for more “religious literacy”, Mr Pickles also said a “proper understanding” of religious faith was the best way to stand up to bigotry.”

    I prefer the honesty of “The most certain route to atheism is to read the bible with care.” I think R.G. Ingersoll said something along those lines. Instead Pickles, in his tax funded rants and campaigns libels , in general, (can you libel in general?) honest atheists striving to promote rational and humane ideas.

    Yet again we see a demonstration from Pickles and his co religionists that no protection from abuse will be offered to atheists. Not that we need it from the likes of Pickles but his simple minded whining points up the unbalanced attitude of the government.

    I’m taking the dog for a walk to calm down.

  11. David Cowland says:

    “The Office will not favour any particular organisation on the grounds of faith.”

    Does this mean we shall soon see police officers with colander helmets? (I appologise if that had an element of ‘carry on’ about it.)

  12. Stuart H. says:

    Knowing the Jesus Army’s tactics well, the only contact this cop should have had with them is to check they weren’t sexually abusing recruits, and that no young person on the premises was being detained against their will. Even a website to advise kids about religious cults co-run by the Evangelical Alliance used to warn against letting vulnerable people (and their trust funds or state benefits) anywhere near the JA.

  13. zombiehunter says:

    If they’re going to hire fictional characters why don’t they hire batman, lets face it he’s way cooler than jesus.

  14. sailor1031 says:

    That police chief methinks has the creepy, spaced out look of a man led from the path of virtue byextreme indulgence in the sin of self abuse. His palms are conspiculously not shown in the photo. It is scary that he is concerned “to protect young people after school”. Protect from what might one ask?

  15. tonye says:

    Anyone else old enough to remember the last time a senior police officer was given free reign?

    James Anderton or “Gods Copper” as the media called him, verbally attacked homosexuals for the aids virus and was less than kind about the unions.

  16. Broga says:

    Simmonds, with dark circles under his eyes and an unnaturally neat appearance, looks like a man with repressed emotions. He says, ” faith drives many people to do amazing things.” Would those include that endemic problem amongst clergy of sexually abusing children? Or perhaps the missionaries who laid waste to the cultures of the countries which they converted while spreading syphilis.

    He looks to have the emotional warmth of an iceberg – if they had emotional warmth.

  17. AgentCormac says:

    I know I shouldn’t, but here goes…

    @Iftikhar
    1. The young generation of Muslim youths who is (sic) the product of western schooling create lot of problems for their parents as well as for the society at large. So you’re saying that troublesome young muslims are created by the western education they have received, free of charge, by virtue of the fact that they live here in a western country? Get over yourself! And nice to know the generosity which our western society extends to all its citizens is so appreciated. Their education gives them an insight into a world that would otherwise be denied to them by your archaic religion, so perhaps no surprises that they create problems for people like yourself.

    2. The three Jihadi Muslim girls and the Jihadi John were in a wrong place at a wrong time in a non-Muslim school with non-Muslim teachers during their developmental periods. They suffer from identity crises. They are unable to enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Ah, so the fact they want to join IS , behead people and burn them alive in cages is because they didn’t get a good muslim education? I would contest that the education they got outside school had everything to do with them being driven towards the inhuman monsters who clearly wouldn’t know either literature and poetry if they fell over it in the road.

    3. Muslim children must be in state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no such thing as muslim children – only children whose parents insist on forcing their own superstitious beliefs upon innocent young people. I doubt you’ll like that fact, but a fact it is nonetheless.

    4. It is absurd to believe that Muslim schools, Imams and Masajid teach Muslim children anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-western views. Are you actually awake of what went on in France just a few short weeks ago?

    5. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean (sic) the Muslim children will get a decent education. Again, thank you so much for the gratitude you show for the education all UK citizens are, at the tax-payers’ expense, provided with in this country. Perhaps if this arrangement doesn’t come up to your own exacting standards you might wish to consider having your own children educated in somewhere like Pakistan, where members of the Taliban (you know, those self same members of your own peace-loving religion) could mow them down in cold blood in the classroom or shoot them in the face for advocating that girls receive an education too.

    6. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. By which I presume you mean that muslim schools would be free to indoctrinate innocent young people in the backward, misogynist and terrifyingly violent teachings of your superstitious beliefs without the tedious hindrance of having to adhere to a single moral or ethic which the society in which they live upholds as being valued.

    You are, Iftikhar, an advocate and apologist for everything that is wrong in our world. And your argument for greater segregation in order to allow the unhindered indoctrination of children is so utterly, utterly transparent it is an embarrassment to you. Yes, western society and its education system are imperfect and let down an awful lot of people – not least children. But your alternative can only lead to more mistrust, more extremism and more division. Which, let’s face it, is exactly what you are hoping for.

  18. jay says:

    Many people who are ‘unchurched’ and appear to be secular are really only passively secular. They have not truly assimilated a rational, nontheistic mindset, they’re just too lazy to go to church.

    How many times have you seen someone who has not been to church in years suddenly start attending when a child is born. They have never really shaken off the fairy tale that religion is a good force just because it says ‘don’t steal’

    The reason guys like this get away with this is because most of the voting population shares this view.

  19. Robster says:

    Didn’t that Jesus die for our sins or something? What are they proposing, a re-re-resurrected Jesus perhaps, Zombie Jesus! That’d be the go, it’s almost easter.

  20. Marky Mark says:

    Excellent argument AgentCormac…I was thinking the same on several of your points.

  21. Maggie says:

    Why do “good Christians” need money to not commit crimes? It’s almost as if their moral compass is broken.

  22. Newspaniard says:

    @AgentCormac. Excellent ripost to Iftikhar’s taqiyya. I was sitting here, gently fuming at this islamofascist’s drivel and trying to think of words which would fit when I scrolled down and found your comment. Thank you, I can now calmly go back to my breakfast instead of choking on it.

  23. chrsbol says:

    @AgentCormac
    Well said sir. I hope that tosspot reads it.

  24. tonye says:

    @AgentCormac,

    Great reply,

    However, his post must be the work of a troll.

    Don’t take the bait.

  25. gegsieline says:

    This fruitcake has obviously never studied Christian history. When Christians had magisterial power in the country Britain was a backwater of censorship and fear. People would get a fairer deal from the Nazi’s. There’s nothing more sinister than the virtuous having ideas about peoples conduct. The Devil himself would be more impartial.

  26. Rob Andrews says:

    Why stop at fighting crime. Get the Xtians to fight the Muslims too..They have a long history of doing this. Should.t take much prodding.

    Richard the Lion-hearted, where are you now that we need you?

  27. Angela_K says:

    @Tonye. That idiot Iftikhar is all over the Internet and is frequently found trolling newspaper comment sections; he usually cuts and pastes the same islamic bullshit.

  28. dennis says:

    @AgentCormac
    you did it again!! EXCELLENT. now to help my poor state of TEXAS, change every reference from Muslim to Xtian and you have the same excellent piece of writing and understanding and logic needed in my hurting state of TEXAS.
    can I change it, for you and hang it on the churches doors. Wow !!! I feel like Luther, some how that sends chills through me like Simmonds picture @Broga.
    @tonye if a troll so be it. even a troll has free speech

  29. AgentCormac says:

    @dennis

    Strange you should mention Martin Luther – can you believe that he is the fastest selling character in the Lego range? WTF?! I mean, why would anybody want a Lego version of Martin Luther? Surreal.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/31514940

    BTW, thanks to those of you who have been kind enough to comment on my repost to Iftikhar (whoever or whatever he may be). I’m just sorry he hasn’t had the balls to reply as I do enjoy the occasional online head-to-head with religiot fuckwits of his ilk.

  30. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac: Surely you have come across Iftikhar Ahmad before! Representing the London School of Islamics (follow his link), he has been mentioned previously on a site called The Freethinker, which he has often favoured with his erudite comments:

    http://freethinker.co.uk/2010/06/11/take-a-bow-imbecile-3/

    He is a complete troll, who copies and pastes vast tracts of repetitive bilge right across the internet, to the consternation of many; indeed, the above was only one offering of his on this site on the same day! As far as I know he seldom, if ever, returns to read comments or reply to respondents, as the opinion of others, let alone any factual analysis, is of no concern to him whatsoever. It is, indeed, comforting to live in your own little bubble, unconcerned by the considerations that occupy normal people.

  31. John the Drunkard says:

    “12-step Recovery Support Programme run by the Full Gospel Church;”
    There is no such animal. ALL the ‘A’ programs reject affiliation with outside organizations and refuse to accept ANY money except for donations from members. Even the sale of books to the public causes an annual hissy fit in AA in the U.S. The idea that operating expenses might be covered by sales of books to non-members is felt to be a threat to the independence of the organization.

    In Britain, for almost the only time, AA went to court in order to REFUSE a legacy. Even inheriting ‘outside money’ is anathema to A.A.