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Trainee officers visit Crawley to gain insight into faith communities

Greater knowledge and understanding of all the communities the force serves enables officers to more effectively engage and serve the people of Sussex.

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Sussex police trainees visited the Sikh Gudwara (top left), the Crawley Islamic Masjid (top right) and the the Apple Tree Hindu Temple (bottom)

That’s why Multi-faith Day has become a regular part of police officer training, giving new recruits an opportunity to gain a greater insight into various faiths and cultures

More than 70 trainee police constables visited the Apple Tree Hindu temple, the Sikh Gudwara and the Islamic Centre & Masjid in Crawley last week where they met community members and found out more about their religions and ways of life.

Trainee PC Matt Seekings, who will join the Brighton and Hove policing team in November, said:

“It was a really enjoyable day and a great opportunity to meet with people of various religions and cultures and ask questions in a safe respectful learning environment.

“We found out how we can best serve and engage people of their faith and carry out our duty with maximum respect and minimum disruption. For example, if we were dealing with a sudden death or delivering the death message.”

“We as the police are here to serve the public interest and we can only do that effectively if we know, understand and respect the differences and diversity of our communities.”

As part of the cultural experience, the 72 trainees and their trainers also took part in meals – and in some cases, rolled up their sleeves and helped wash the dishes.

“We were really touched that volunteers at the Sikh Gudwara had got up early and cooked a meal for a group of 80,” said Matt. “So we wanted to pay them back by helping out with the dishes.”

Bharat Lukka of the Apple Tree Centre said:

“The Hindu community was pleased to welcome the trainee officers and help them build an understanding about Hindu culture and the community here in Crawley. It’s reassuring to know that these trainees are there to help and engage with our communities.”

Shahid Zaman, Education Secretary of the Crawley Islamic Centre & Masjid, said:

“It was a pleasure to host the officers. We look forward to continuing to organise similar events in the future.”

Davinder Kaur Ghundale of the Siri Guru Singh Sabha Sikh Gudawara, added,

“If this has made a difference to at least one officer and their interactions with the Sikh community, then it is a job well done.”

Chief Superintendent Jayne Dando, Race Equality Champion said:

“Sussex Police works hard each and every day to engage with our diverse communities. We liaise with a number of Interfaith Networks and our Prevention Teams have strong local contacts.

“Offering this Multi faith day as part of training is just one of the ways we enhance and ensure our officers understanding of the communities they serve across the county. It also enables us to understand community concerns and build strong relationships.”               

The 72 trainee officers will join their policing teams across the county in early November.

Interested in joining Sussex as a police officer? They are currently recruiting for new PCs. Deadline is 19th September. Apply on Sussex Police website

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As a hot weekend approaches Southern Water asks Crawley residents to use water wisely as demand soars

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Before anyone thinks it’s about a water shortage, it isn’t. It’s about water demand and there is a difference.

The UK is ten weeks into lockdown, with many hundreds of thousands of people at home all day who wouldn’t normally be.

This means a lot of additional hand washing and increased usage in the home (more showers, more washing and more cleaning and cooking etc.)

With all the glorious sunny weather then of course paddling pools, hose pipes and sprinklers are all on the cards.

After all, people are all stuck at home unable to go to the beach or away on holiday as many would normally at this time of year – so those with gardens want to make the most of them, stay cool and water plants.

And with one of the wettest Januarys and Februarys on record there is no problem right?

Well, it’s not that clear cut and here’s why…

Yes there is enough water sat in reservoirs right now thanks to the rain we have experienced, however, water of course has to go through a process to make it safe before it arrives at your tap.

On an average day, Southern Water treat and supply 538 million litres of water – enough to make half the world’s population a cup of tea.

In lockdown, people are using between 10 and 20 per cent more than usual. But even with the extra demand of lockdown, we can treat more than enough water.

However, in hot weather demand really soars and then it becomes difficult to keep up. Imagine being in a shower when someone turns on a tap downstairs – the water slows to a trickle.

And the hot weather coupled with the extra people at home has meant we are seeing some really high peaks throughout the day; in fact some days during lockdown we have seen an extra 60 million litres demand!

Sprinklers, hoses and paddling pools require extreme large quantities of water, something we should be mindful of during a normal summer anyway, but if that demand hits the network at the same time (which lockdown is causing it to do) it causes demand to out weigh supply.

Quite simply, if lots of people fill pools and use hoses and sprinklers – the water supply has to be split between all demands.

So you see, this is why water companies like Southern are asking everyone across the country to use water wisely during lockdown – the demand on the hot days is too high. The water treatment works which are more than capable of producing more than enough water for all essential use are very suddenly stretched.

Especially as these days fewer people have the single occupancy child paddling pools which only take a few litres and are opting for the larger versions – most pools are now between 500 and 1000 litres, with some whoppers as big as 3500 litres – that’s a lot of water! It’s worth noting that as we move further into summer; these sums of water can also go on to cause a water shortage too.

Based on just one average 500-1000 litre pool it takes equivalent amount of water for around:

We hope that this helps to make it clear that thanks to the wet weather over winter we are currently in the lucky position that there is no water shortage, but that Southern Water are joining forces with all water companies across the UK to ask people to use water wisely during lockdown, so that demand can be met at all times.

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