Traditionally, members of the orthodox Jewish community of Stamford Hill have had difficulty in exercising their citizen rights and working with the police to keep themselves safe from crime. This is the case for a number of reasons:
- Many members of the community speak Yiddish or Hebrew as a first language and find the process of the contacting the police or making a statement intimidating. Even those who speak English as a first language have cultural differences that provide an impediment to reaching out to the police.
- Levels of awareness about the UK criminal justice system were low and individuals were unaware of their rights and who to contact in a given situation.
- The laws of the Sabbath day mean that orthodox Jews are forbidden to use electricity from sundown on Friday evening until Saturday night, including contacting the police to report an incident. Local criminals were often aware of this and targeted Jewish homes during this period.
Thanks in large part to the activities of Shomrim this situation has now improved dramatically. Our public education campaigns have given practical advice and instruction to members of the Jewish community on how to report crimes and exercise their rights. As first responders we play an instrumental role in preserving evidence that can identify perpetrators and secure convictions. We regularly help victims of crime through the process of contacting the police, giving a statement and providing evidence in court. Shomrim volunteers are also often called upon to give evidence in court.
Shomrim is proud to be at the forefront on building positive, constructive relations between the orthodox Jewish community and police force, creating a safer and more secure environment for everyone.Creating links between the police and the Jewish community