Preet Gill MP to raise 'concerns' with West Midlands Police over harassment of police by Sikh Youth UK
By Barfi Culture Team
2nd May 2019

The Birmingham MP Preet Gill says she has spoken with Sikh police officers and West Midlands Police over concerns a Sikh group was disrupting the work of police officers in the West Midlands.

On Sunday 28th April, a group of Sikh men loudly confronted and called on police to leave the Handsworth Park Vaisakhi Mela, held in the West Midlands. The incident was led by Sikh Youth UK who posted a clip from the incident to Twitter.

It wasn't the first time for such an incident.

The Sikh Youth UK leader has forced Sikh police officers to leave their recruitment stalls at Gurdwaras at least twice in the past: once at a Gurdwara in Birmingham and another time at a Gurdwara in Leicester. Videos of boh incidents were posted to YouTube.

The campaign has sparked alarm among Sikh police officers and many in the community. Barfi Culture understands police officers are trying to formulate a response but none would speak on the record yet.

Manjeet Kaur was among those alarmed by recent incidents.

She told Barfi Culture she had written to Birmingham MP Preet Gill raising her concerns.

In her email she said: "many of us were shocked and horrified by the aggressive tone" of Sikh Youth UK, "just a few days after an interfaith event at the Birmingham Central Mosque was cancelled due to public safety concerns posed by the same group."

She added: "Please can you kindly advise what steps the APPG [All Party Parliamentary Group] on UK Sikhs is taking to ensure police officers visiting Sikh Gurdwaras and Sikh events at the invitation of the Sikh community can do so without the threat of intimidation from Sikh Youth UK?"

Preet Gill MP wrote back in response:

"Thank you for your email and raising your concerns."

"There is fair strict parliamentary protocol that MPs do not intervene in matters raised by constituents other than their own. So, in the first instance I suggest you do that and ask that they contact the APPG if they need any support or advice."

"Having said that, more broadly, I have spoken to the Sikh police association and we are working to address the concerns with the West Midlands police."

"I will also speak to the Sikh Council UK on how they can assist. Thank you again for raising this matter with us."

The MP for Birmingham Edgebaston was a speaker at the launch of the National Sikh Police Association in February this year.

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