Hertfordshire Constabulary has launched a new initiative aimed at helping black, Asian and minority ethnic women.
The initiative involves a women-only weekly fitness class, taking place at the Asda Community Hall in Watford, which provides women with information and advice from local services, such as the police, doctors and law firms.
The inaugural fitness class on Tuesday, April 24, began with a talk from Local Policing Command Superintendent Ruth Dodsworth who explained her role and the help and support that the police can provide to the public.
She was joined by officers from the Watford Safer Neighbourhood Team who were on hand to give advice and listen to any concerns and thoughts. Freebies aimed at crime prevention, such as purse bells, were also given out.
The classes, which will run over the next nine weeks, will all begin with an information session before fitness instructor Sofia Shamimi leads the women through a class, suitable for all abilities.
The classes, which are open to all women but aimed at black, Asian and minority ethnic women, are designed as an engaging way for women to keep fit while making new friends and gaining valuable advice.
The initiative was created as a joint collaboration between the Constabulary and Watford borough councillor, Bilqees Mauthoor.
The classes are free to attend and are being funded by the Hertfordshire Association of Muslim Police (HAMP).
PC Irfan Ishaq, who is Chair of HAMP, said: “This is a fantastic initiative that will signpost women to local services they can rely on when they need help.
“The classes take place in a relaxed environment and are suitable for all fitness levels. Over the coming weeks, the women will get to hear more advice from the police surrounding Asian gold theft, knife crime and domestic abuse.
“In the long-term, I would like to establish these classes as a third-party reporting centre which would mean that the centre could report crimes to us on behalf of the women.”
Superintendent Ruth Dodsworth, said: “I’m delighted to have been able to join the women for the first ever class. It is really important that everyone in the community feels engaged with the police so that they feel comfortable coming to us if ever they have a problem.”
Picture courtesy of Herts Police