Monday, July 27, 2015
Met and City Hall chiefs will visit Hackney today to support an open day for the Shomrim, north-east London's Jewish neighbourhood watch scheme.
The event runs from 1pm until 4pm on Clapton Common, and offers a chance for local people to meet the volunteer group that works alongside the police to combat crime in the area.
Founded in 2005, the Stamford Hill Shomrim was modelled on a similar group that operates alongside the NYPD in New York.
The Deputy Mayor of London for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh and the Met's deputy assistant commissioner Hellen Ball will be at the event, alongside Hackney borough commander Ch Supt Simon Lawrence.
Matthew Horne, Ch Supt Lawrence's predecessor, told Al-Jazeera in 2009 the local police had good relationship with the Shomrim, whose volunteers he believed had helped cut crime levels by giving local Hasidic Jews an intermediary with the police.
"The Jewish community are extremely good at noticing when something is wrong. They will very quickly contact Shomrim," he said. "They will keep an eye on it and they will generally know when is the time to call us."
Shomrim event coordinator Michael Scher said: "It's important for the public, especially children, to see real people behind the uniforms, and appreciate their hard work on a daily basis. This is an open and public event - everyone is welcome.
"This event has a special focus on bike safety and cycling, which is very important, especially in Hackney where so many people cycle.
"All in all, I hope everyone has an enjoyable day."
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