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City Angels (Chichester)
UK News

UK Church social action helping cut crime

The Cinnamon Network has today published data based on a number of case studies in Sussex, one of which was City Angels in Chichester.

Police said patrols by City Angels in the city saw a reduction in anti-social behaviour of up to 79 per cent and a fall in violent crime by up to 67 per cent, compared to times when they were not operating.

In the document published today, the Cinnamon Network is encouraging churches across the country to get involved in social action project and explore opportunities for closer co-operation with police.

The 'Police and Church Partnership Working' report has been endorsed by the National Police Chiefs' Council and College of Policing.

Speaking with Premier, founder of the Cinnamon Network, Matt Bird said projects such as the Street Pastors and foodbanks "have done a huge work in building the credibility of the Church in eyes of police" and now is the time for the Church to "work on a much wider range of projects with the police".

He said: "The austerity that our civic organisations are facing is creating great opportunities for partnership with churches like never before.

"It's an opportunity for the Church to be Church in the community, not just a gathering on a Sunday of people to do their thing but actually the Body of Christ living and working and serving in their local communities and expressing God's love in that way.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin, Head of Justice at the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said: "In this new age of policing, we face many challenges and this report demonstrates the potential for police services to develop partnerships with churches and faith groups that together help reduce crime and disorder."

Paul Netherton, Assistant Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall, added: "The Church and other faith groups have a key role to play in supporting the police. Police and faith communities are an essential partnership that can have a huge positive impact on our communities."

Listen to the Cinnamon Network's founder, Matt Bird, speaking with Premier's Alex Williams here.

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