Two bishops will join Sussex Police for morning prayers today.
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Arundel and Brighton the Rt Rev Kieran Conry will join his Church of England counterpart the Bishop of Chichester the Rt Rev John Hind at a conference hosted by the police.
The conference is aimed at enhancing a partnership approach in tackling crime and its causes.
The two bishops and other church representatives will meet chief officers and neighbourhood police staff at Slaugham Manor, just off the A23 a few miles south of Crawley
Although the Churches and Neighbourhood Policing Partnership day involves Christian churches, Sussex Police said that other faiths and denominations would be invited to future events.
Chief Constable Martin Richards said: “The police and church have a long history of working in partnership with all sections of society.
“We share common values with all denominations such as compassion, treating people fairly, courage, standing up for what is right and protecting the vulnerable in our society.
“There are many examples of churches impacting on local communities, helping to tackle crime such as gun crime, domestic abuse and human trafficking, as well as the causes of crime such as debt, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse.”
The chief constable will open the conference with speakers including the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton.
Chief Inspector Dick Coates, who runs Neighbourhood Policing, said: “There is already a lot of good partnership work going on between the churches and the neighbourhood police teams.
“This conference is about enhancing this and spreading the good work across Sussex.
“The church has provided teams for clear-up days in the community, given venues for events, provided police with street pastors and prayed for officers.
“But it’s not just the police they help, it’s the community.
“They also work with offenders to try to get them on the straight and narrow.
“Sussex Police has been working with the Christian churches of Sussex for many years and we are keen to extend this to other denominations.”
Rt. Rev Kieran Conry said: “The Catholic Church is proud of its partnership work with Sussex Police.
“We have enjoyed the closer contact with officers and as a result have gained a better understanding of local issues.
“I have begun discussions on ways in which we can make this more concrete.”
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