According to a recent report, the Met police are institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic. Deborah Akinlawon, a police officer for almost 30 years, says now is the time for the Church to stand and pray for those working in the service
It feels strange writing this today.
Yesterday - 22 March 2023 - marked the sixth anniversary of the murder of PC Keith Palmer during the Westminster terrorist attacks. As I remember a colleague who paid the ultimate sacrifice doing this job, I’m also reeling from the contents of Baroness Casey’s report into the Metropolitan Police.
I can’t actually put my feelings into words right now. Everybody is talking about it. I am sure that it will take a while for it to all sink in.
The Casey report highlights many issues within the Met - and rightly so. Many will be feeling vindicated by this report, and the wonderful people who have shared their testimonies, bringing into the light what was, for far too long, hidden.
Pray for all those who have suffered discrimination and bear the scars today, that they would find healing
These are issues that are now being addressed by Commissioner Sir Rowley, and I will not comment on that, except to say that a promise has been made that there will be a turnaround.
But this won’t happen overnight.
I am a Police Officer. I’m female. I’m also part of the Black community. So there are many things highlighted in this report that I can relate to as my own experience. Like many people, I have every right to feel an incredible sense of frustration, which I do.
Bringing it to Christ
However, I am also a Christian, and therein lies my identity. That is my baseline for how I respond to what is going on. And on that basis, it is time to act. Christians within the Met - and the wider police force - rise up! We have work to do. Now is the time for us to stand for what is right and not be silent.
God’s word tells me to pray for those in authority and leadership over us. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 asks ”that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority”. Why? So “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” Verse 3 actually says: “This is good, and pleases God our Savior.”
So how about getting together in your churches, homes and small groups, and praying for us. Invite the Christian police officers and staff that you know to share their experiences with you. Get involved. Become chaplains. Open your churches. Show the Father’s heart of love to us.
Leading with prayer
And if nothing else, please pray!
Pray for the police, not just the Met, but policing as a whole.
Pray for those that lead us: chief constables, government leaders, police and crime commissioners.
Pray for resources to better equip the police, and proper stewarding of those resources.
Pray for the right people to join the police service.
Now is the time for Christians within the police service to stand for what is right and not be silent
Pray for all kinds of discrimination to be routed out of the Met, and policing as a whole.
Pray for all those who have suffered discrimination and bear the scars today, that they would find healing.
Pray for Christian officers and staff, that we would be able to help the commissioner in this battle (and yes, it is a battle) to bring change where it is needed most.
Pray for Christians to be beacons of light and a force for integrity throughout this organisation.
Stand with us.
Don’t give up on us.
Did Jesus give up on you?
Find out more about how your church community can support and work with your local police through the Faith and Police Initiative