How should Christians respond to Met Police failings?
How should Christians respond to Met Police failings?[photo1]
Sarah Everard's death was a little close. She was at school with some of my dear friends. It could easily have been them. It could have been me. What do we do when those who should be safe are unsafe, and those working faithfully are tainted by association?
We follow a God who cares deeply about issues of justice. Racism, sexism, and homophobia are to be lamented and challenged. As his people, we are called to follow the command God gave to his people through the prophet Isaiah: 'Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed.' (Isaiah 1:17a)
But what does that look like in our everyday lives?
The report describes an institution that falls devastatingly short of its own standards. The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) found 1,539 officers had been implicated in alleged police-perpetrated violence against women and girls.
The NPCC also looked at violence against women and girls generally during the six months to March 2022. These figures show 447,431 recorded domestic abuse crimes and, overall, at least 507,827 crimes of violence against women and girls.
The Met police hasn't kept London safe for everyone. We should pray for all who have suffered from these failings. We can pray for positive changes and a restoration of trust as the report and its recommendations are considered and actioned in London - and, more broadly, for the police force across the UK.
Additionally, we should educate ourselves, finding opportunities to be a positive influence on policymakers, lobbying for truth and justice, and supporting those in law enforcement, seeking to be good friends and safe places for them when the going gets tough.
If you've got any Christian friends employed by the Met or other police forces in this country, take this opportunity to send them a message and ask how you can pray for them.
Finally, when faced with unhealthy cultures in workplaces or organisations, stand up for truth and good practice - whatever you do, wherever you are, whoever you are.
And, if you or someone you love has experienced institutional discrimination, we encourage you to seek support and, if you feel able, to challenge these shortcomings.
Put simply, let's be people who help bring about the culture we long to see.
Rev Jo Trickey is Church Advocate at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC).