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Last Updated: Monday, 10 September 2007, 07:47 GMT 08:47 UK
Clampdown on Ramadan crime surge
Mosque dome
Police say low-level crime tends to increase during prayer times
Police in Bradford have joined forces with local mosques to clamp down on a rise in crime during Ramadan.

Officers in the north of the city will for the first time be joined by mosque committee members on street patrols.

"In previous years there has been a marked increase in reports of low-level damage and youth nuisance during Ramadan," West Yorkshire Police said.

The Council for Mosques said: "We have a responsibility to make sure our young people are not causing problems."

It is believed the increase in crime has been caused by some young people taking advantage of the fact their parents are occupied observing Ramadan, particularly during evening prayer times.

This year Ramadan will start around 12 to 14 September, with the sighting of the new moon and will be declared over when the next new moon is sighted in October.

It is very encouraging that the police are working more closely than ever with us this year
Ghulam Rasool, Bradford Council For Mosques

Police said the patrols would focus on the Manningham, Girlington and Heaton areas.

Ch Supt Allan Doherty, Divisional Commander for Bradford North, said: "Our regular analysis of incidents in the division showed there was a peak in damage and youth nuisance around Ramadan, and also identified which areas those incidents were concentrated in.

"When we spoke to community leaders in those areas they shared our concerns and were keen to work with us to cut the number of incidents this year.

"They felt the increase was probably down to some young people in the area taking advantage of the fact their parents could be occupied with observing Ramadan, particularly during prayer times in the evenings.

"Because of this they have wholeheartedly welcomed the idea of working closely alongside my officers to reduce the number of incidents."

'Very encouraging'

Ghulam Rasool, a representative of the Council for Mosques in Bradford, and head of Girlington Muslim Welfare Association, said: "It is very encouraging that the police are working more closely than ever with us this year to make sure the community is safe during Ramadan.

"Having joint patrols out on the streets is an excellent way of ensuring that.

"This is not just an issue for the police to address alone. We in the community have a responsibility to make sure our young people are not causing problems.

"We already have a very good working relationship with the police and we hope that this initiative will be a good example of how we can make a difference to the community by working together."




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