Deputy Chief Police Officer for the ACT David McLean today launched the third edition of the Practical Reference to Religious and Spiritual Diversity for Operational Police.
The Reference was developed by the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) in consultation with all police jurisdictions and a number of stakeholders including religious and community leaders.
It aims to provide police with a greater understanding of religious and spiritual diversity, and covers nine major religious faiths. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander spirituality, Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Maori Spirituality and Sikhism.
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Commander McLean said the Reference provides ACT Policing members with an overview of these nine religions, and contains practical advice for police on religious protocols surrounding death, gender roles and the family and physical contact.
“As operational police, it is vital we are sensitive to religious and spiritual practices while performing our duties. This includes any special considerations we should be mindful of when entering a person’s house, or conducting an interview with a member of the multicultural community,” Commander McLean said.
The new edition of the Reference also includes a user friendly pocket guide with a quick reference table which operational police can carry with them while they go about their duties.
“This handy pocket guide will maximise accessibility, readability and useability of the Reference for police while interacting with the multicultural community in the ACT.
“As our society becomes increasingly diverse, our police officers need to be constantly responsive to these changes, and the implementation of this new edition of the Reference further demonstrates ACT Policing’s commitment to provide an effective and respectful service to all members of the Canberra community,” Commander McLean said.