Thousands turn out for Shomrim's Open Day on Clapton Common
PUBLISHED: 11:57 16 August 2016 | UPDATED: 17:51 17 August 2016
Thousands of people turned out on Clapton Common yesterday for a big community fun day organised by Shomrim, the Jewish neighbourhood watch voluntary group.
All the emergency services were in attendance, from local Hackney police to the Met’s marine unit, sniffer dogs, the fire arms unit, and police horses, along with British Transport Police.
The police helicopter came for a low flyover, and the London Fire Brigade were on hand, along with the Jewish voluntary ambulance service Hatzola, the army’s intelligence unit, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Chavrim - a voluntary non-emergency service who help people if they are locked out of their house or car has broken down.
More than 6,000 gas balloons were distributed to youngsters during the event and representatives from Hackney Council encouraging recycling and chid car seat safety were also present, as well as Doctor Bike - a council initiative to fix bikes.
Shomrim volunteer Shulem Stern said: “There were literally thousands of people who turned up - there were people from all faiths and none.
“We had people from the church and quite a lot from the local mosques – it was brilliant.
“There were more agencies than previous years and it outlines the great focus that all these organisations and emergency services put on community engagement and reaching out to communities.
“These events help build confidence as you usually only get to meet them in a more volatile situation - you don’t usually get to see the human behind the uniform. You chat with them and they smile at you and you smile back. You try on the handcuffs and the riot gear – there’s the human interaction and that helps with engaging with them and results in better reporting if people have confidence in the public service.”
Hackney Police Superintendent Jo Edwards, said she was delighted to have been invited to the community engagement event.
She added: “It just goes to advertise the fantastic joint working between the local police and the Shomrim who do such an excellent job in support of the Metropolitan Police 24 hours a day seven days a week.”