Press Release

Monday, 11 July 2005

27th Aasaarh (Samvat 537Nanakshahi)

Sikhs Meet Police Tomorrow to Step-up Security Following Backlash to London Bombings

Hate Crime Incident report facility set up at: http://unitedsikhs.org/hatecrime/

London—The Sikh community will meet the Metropolitan police at New Scotland Yard tomorrow (Tuesday) to seek the stepping up of security measures to protect the Sikh community and its Gurdwaras from the backlash to the London bombings. The meeting was sought after a petrol bomb attack on a Sikh Gurdwara in Kent which was the first backlash incident since the London bombings.

"UNITED SIKHS has been in touch with several Sikh organisations who have expressed concern at the lack of public statements for the heightened need for vigilance for the security of the Sikh community and its places of worship," said Mejindarpal Kaur, UNITED SIKHS director.

"As you are aware the Sikh community has a very visible profile such that a Sikh was the first fatal backlash victim in the United States post 9/11. You are also aware of criminal incidents against Sikh Gurdwaras in Kent and Leeds (Bradford), which are currently being investigated. However, there have been no public statements from the police to reassure the Sikh community that the Police have increased their vigilance over Sikh places of worship or that any hate crime incident reporting has been activated for the Sikh community," Ms Kaur said in a letter addressed to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair.

The letter was handed to Commander Rod Jarman at a special Police Briefing in London, who immediately responded by agreeing to a meeting tomorrow. The meeting will be followed by similar meetings with the ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) to cover the rest of the home counties.

UNITED SIKHS, in collaboration with the British Sikh Consultative Forum (BSCF), Sikh Secretariat, Sikhs In England and Sikh Care Society Heathrow, has launched a Hate Crime Incident Report facility which may be accessed by any member of the public wishing to report a hate crime at http://unitedsikhs.org/hatecrime/ UNITED SIKHS will forward all hate crime reports instantaneously to the police.

The 5pm meeting at New Scotland Yard will be attended by Mejindarpal Kaur and Meerat Kaur of UNITED SIKHS, Harmander Singh of Sikhs In England, Dabinderjit Singh of the Sikh Secretariat, Harjinder Singh and Satnam Kaur of Sikh Care Society Heathrow, Gurdip Singh of the Metropolitan Police Sikh Association (MPSA) and other Gurdwara representatives. Anyone who wishes to attend the meeting should contact Harmander Singh by noon tomorrow on 07958 946868.

The proposed agenda for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Heightened vigilance for Gurdwaras. Right now only mosques have this protection. Sikh Gurdwaras should have had this from 7th July.
  2. Setting up a freephone facility for hate crime reports and publicity for this facility.
  3. A special briefing for metropolitan and other police re vulnerability of Sikhs as mistaken identity victims
  4. Undertaking from police as to action they will take for all reported hate crimes
  5. Setting up of a permanent hate crime response team for terrorism related incidents which should be automatically activated each time there is such an incident ( god forbid) so that we do not wait too many days before action is taken.

If you wish to report a hate crime/biased crime incident please use the online incident reporting form available at: http://unitedsikhs.org/hatecrime/

Issued By:
Mejindarpal Kaur
07940 703404

Our Mission

To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.

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Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

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