Sergeant of Wrexham organizes a forum with the religious leaders of the community
THE launch of a new multi-faith community forum attracted leaders from all corners of Wrexham last week.
Organized by the Yellow and Blue Community Hub on Henblas Street, members of the town’s mosque, the Catholic Church, the Church of England and the Salvation Army were all in attendance.
Sergeant Dave Smith from Wrexham Town led the community engagement initiative and moderated the hour-long session.
Reflecting on the forum’s first meeting, Sgt Smith hopes further sessions can build cohesion among Wrexham residents.
He said: “I’m really pleased with how these initial discussions have gone. It was great to see members of local faith groups accept the invitation to come.
“Historically, as a Force, we haven’t had much involvement with religious leaders – but we recognize that they do a lot of good within their communities.
“They’re influential in terms of reach, and they’re a positive force in a lot of people’s lives.
“When setting up this meeting, I didn’t want it to be a tick box exercise or just to be seen as a photo opportunity for the police.
“It was meant to be meaningful, with a focus on building lasting friendships between the police and religious leaders and their congregations.
“It’s about recognizing that regardless of our beliefs or backgrounds, we are one community and we can work together to make a positive difference.
“There’s a lot of positivity in the city right now and hopefully we can keep that going through working with the diverse population we have here.”
Among the issues discussed by the panel were mental health reporting, homelessness, drug use, gold thefts in Asia and CCTV coverage.
Panel members also pointed to areas of downtown that they believe need more police attention to make the city safer.
Sgt Smith added: “I’m not originally from Wrexham but since I started working here I really like the town.
“That sentiment seemed to be shared by all involved, and they were happy to point out issues that they felt needed to be addressed by the police in the future.
“I was there to do that first introduction and to listen, so that was a really positive first step in moving those meetings forward.”
Anyone with links to local church groups within Wrexham who would like to attend future meetings can email: [email protected]