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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 October 2006, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Police to avoid Ramadan arrests
Muslim praying
The holy month of Ramadan is due to end next week
Police in Manchester have been told not to arrest Muslims wanted on warrants at prayer times during Ramadan.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed it had asked detectives not to make planned arrests during those periods for reasons of religious sensitivity.

The advice was emailed out to officers working in Moss Side, Hulme, Whalley Range, Rusholme, Fallowfield, Ardwick, Longsight, Gorton and Levenshulme.

Police said it was not a blanket ban, just a "request for sensitivity".

The email stressed the order did not apply to on-the-spot arrests, only the execution of arrest warrants.

The primary objective of Greater Manchester Police is to fight crime and protect people
GMP statement
The holy month of Ramadan began on 22 September and is due to end with the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr next week.

The internal email was sent to staff listing the prayer times, but confusion arose and a second memo was sent clarifying it was not a total ban on arresting Muslims at these times.

A GMP statement said: "The primary objective of Greater Manchester Police is to fight crime and protect people.

"The month of Ramadan is an important time of the year for members of the Muslim community throughout the world.

"It is important that normal, planned policing activities and operations are maintained, while ensuring that officers are professional and respectful to members of the community while going about their duties."

Liberal Democrat councillor Simon Ashley, who represents the city's Gorton South ward and leads the party on Manchester City Council, said: "This sounds odd but we would need to find out what impact rescheduling arrests had on police operations.

"The police's first job is to police.

"I understand they have a difficult task to do and need to do it sensitively, especially within minority communities, but that can't stop them policing serious crimes."


SEE ALSO
Khan appeals for trouble-free Eid
02 Nov 05 |  Manchester
Boxer's plea for trouble-free Eid
21 Jan 05 |  Manchester
Plea for trouble-free Eid-ul-Fitr
12 Nov 04 |  Manchester

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