Police dress up in burkhas ‘to improve community relations’

Two sergeants and a community support officer dressed in head-to-foot burkhas and other traditional clothing and went out shopping. Meanwhile a group of Muslim women were invited into police cells, a CCTV control room and shown other daily duties of a police officer.

The move was part of a police initiative dubbed “In Your Shoes” taking place in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. But it has attracted strong criticism from onlookers. Matthew Elliott, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “This is an absurd diversion from real policing. People want the police out catching criminals, not indulging in politically correct gimmicks.”

Sergeant Deb Leonard, who wore some of the clothing, described her experience in a South Yorkshire Police in-house magazine. “I have gained an appreciation and understanding of what Muslim females experience when they walk out in public in clothing appropriate to their beliefs. We are keen to gain a better understanding of issues which our communities face.”

Lord Ahmed to be charged over fatal ‘text message’ crash

A Labour Peer is to be prosecuted after he allegedly sent a text message from his mobile telephone shortly before a fatal motorway crash, it was reported. Lord Ahmed, 51, was driving his Jaguar X-type on the M1 on Christmas Day last year when it hit an Audi A4 which had stopped in the outside lane.

The driver of the other car, Martyn Gombar, 28, was killed instantly. South Yorkshire Police are said to have confirmed that Lord Ahmed is to be summoned to appear in court in connection with dangerous driving. The maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years in jail. The maximum sentence for dangerous driving is two years. The police investigation has centred on reports that Lord Ahmed’s mobile telephone had been used to send a text message to a journalist shortly before the crash. It is claimed the message was sent about three minutes before the same telephone was used to call 999. Lord Ahmed said he had not been informed of the decision to prosecute him and refused to comment on claims that he had sent a text message shortly before the accident. “Obviously I am still denying anything to do with any dangerous driving and I will speak to my lawyer,” he said. The Pakistan-born politician suffered cuts and bruises in the accident. His wife, Sakina, 49, and his mother, Rashim, suffered minor injuries. Shortly after the incident Lord Ahmed confirmed that he had been behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

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Britain’s first Muslim peer faces charges over text message he sent shortly before fatal car crash

Labour peer Lord Ahmed could face charges over a text message allegedly sent from his mobile phone shortly before a motorway crash in which a 28-year-old man died. He was driving his gold Jaguar X-type on the M1 on Christmas Day when he smashed into a car which had spun out of control and had come to rest in the fast lane facing the wrong way. The 50-year-old peer was badly shaken and suffered “cuts and bruises” in the accident in which his wife Sakina, 49, and his mother, who is in her mid-80s, also suffered minor injuries. Martyn Gombar, the Slovakian driver of the other car, was killed instantly. A routine police investigation into the death crash has focused on the use of his mobile phone in the minutes before Lord Ahmed used it to call the emergency services. A text was allegedly sent to a journalist friend during this period and police have been trying to establish the circumstances in which it was sent and by whom. Motorists who send texts at the wheel face being charged with causing death by dangerous driving if using the mobile is believed to have played a part in an accident in which someone is killed. The maximum sentence is 14 years. But yesterday Lord Ahmed denied committing such an offence. He said: “I would strenuously deny any allegation of death by dangerous driving, other than that I cannot comment.” South Yorkshire Police has prepared a file on the case which will shortly be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider. Chris Brooke reports.