I am pleased to be here today representing both South Wales Police and more locally the Cardiff Police Division.
South Wales Police’s mission statement is ‘Keeping South Wales Safe’. Further to that our vision is ‘Being the best at understanding and responding to our communities needs’ The launch today is fully endorsed by South Wales Police and the delivery of this programme will go a long way in helping us achieve both our mission and vision aims. Part of my responsibilities includes the management of the Channel Project Team who are based in Cardiff Bay.
Channel is a process established under the Governments Counter Terrorism Prevent agenda and is a mechanism to identify, risk assess and provide support to individuals who are believed to be vulnerable to recruitment, or are being drawn towards violent extremism.
For the Channel Project to be effective and achieve its aims it has to draw upon the support of a wide range of partners within the statutory, non statutory and voluntary sectors. The GOT Project is one of those partners whom we have valued highly from its creation and have engaged with continuously through its development and progress towards where we are today.
Effectively tackling racism, discrimination, disproportionality, tension and now the real potential for violent extremism is fundamental to us establishing the kind of community cohesion that South Wales Police and of course the wider population desire for the City of Cardiff and beyond. The insight of the GOT Directors in targeting young, impressionable members of our society at a critical time in their personal development is to be applauded. The approach taken in this programme is equally to be applauded as it actively seeks audience engagement and participation in positively challenging themselves and others over the prejudices and negativity which we know exists in our society.
Cardiff has a long and proud multicultural history which has embraced diversity stemming back over many generations. It has a strong and established sense of community. That said today more than ever challenges to the stability of our communities are very real. The Getting on Together programme has already, and I’m sure will continue to play a prominent role in ensuring that Cardiff’s proud tradition continues.
The Home Office have provided a definition for Community Cohesion:
A cohesive community is one where:
There is a common vision and a sense of belonging for all communities;
The diversity of people’s different backgrounds and circumstances are appreciated and positively valued;
Those from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities;
Strong and positive relationships are being developed between people from different backgrounds in the workplace, in schools and within neighbourhoods.
I believe the GOT Programme is a positive vehicle for achieving a cohesive community in Cardiff and would therefore reiterate the support of South Wales Police for the GOT programme and extend our thanks to the Directors of GOT, Sheikh Mohammed Abdi Dahir, Dr Abdalla Yassin Mohammed and Barrie Phillips.
Chief Inspector Steve Siddall - South Wales Police