Northampton

Police faith initiative director appeals for 'all faiths and none' to get involved

Helen Boardman Image copyright Helen Boardman
Image caption Helen Boardman said the project would not work without "all faiths"

The director of a project aimed at making Northamptonshire the "safest place in England" has appealed for more non-Christian groups to get involved.

The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) had been criticised for not giving any money to Sikh, Hindu, Jewish or Muslim schemes.

Director Helen Boardman admitted it had been hard to attract other faiths.

But she said to succeed it "has to attract all faiths" and non-faith-based groups.

"We have not done that yet," she said. "But I would appeal for people to come forward and talk to me about what we can offer."

Updated figures show £71,000 has been given out by the OFBCI since its launch in January 2014, with about £61,000 going to Christian groups.

Image caption Adam Simmonds launched the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives last January

Ms Boardman said she had been working with all faiths, but that it had "not been easy" to attract funding applications from non-Christian faith groups.

"It takes times to build up trust," she said.

She said she wanted the OFBCI to act as a "catalyst" for groups "of all faiths and none".

"But we can not just throw money about in a scattergun way," she said.

"We have to target the correct groups to achieve tangible targets."

The OFBCI, the brainchild of police and crime commissioner Adam Simmonds, aims to reduce violent crime, focus on the eradication of drugs and tackle anti-social behaviour.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites