The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) acknowledge the community’s efforts and patience during this difficult time and recognise the current pressures placed on the community due to loss of income, family relations and basic social freedoms. This may, unfortunately, result in heightened levels of anxiety and frustration due to the current lockdowns and restrictions.
ANIC support’s a balanced approach between maintaining law and order from a compliance perspective, and allowing the general public to exercise their rights and freedoms.
The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) had organised a community meeting with South West Metropolitan Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke, and other community leaders and representatives. The meeting was productive, whereby the concerns of the community were raised and subsequently addressed by the Assistant Commissioner. During this meeting, we offered practical advice and community-based solutions. We welcome the Assistant Commissioner’s directive to police under the South West Sydney command to keep in mind the current lockdown pressures and to practice policing in a “measured and tempered” manner. Further to this, points were raised as to maintaining communication and dialogue in working together during these challenging times.
We strongly urge the community to continue to be patient and comply with the health orders and restrictions and to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies. At the same time, we also expect the police to conduct themselves in a professional and upright manner during these challenging times. We have called for empathetic policing rather than over-policing.
Aggression and violence is unacceptable, whether it be from the police or from the public. Failure to cooperate with the police will not de-escalate or resolve the situation. In fact, it is likely to aggravate the difficult incident.
If community members experience improper behaviour or conduct from the police, they are encouraged to seek legal adivce or lodge a complaint to the Commissioner of Police or the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC).
According to the NSW police website:
“NSW Police Force are expected to conduct themselves with the highest level of professionalism and integrity ensuring that their authority is exercised responsibly.”
We understand that in some circumstances, the police or members of the community can get it wrong and more needs to be done. It is important that during difficult and uncertain times, more tolerance and cooperation should be exercised by all parties and agencies.
ANIC will continue to engage with NSW police and other agencies in raising community concerns and work together for the safety and betterment of the community.
Lastly, we thank the community for their sacrifices and ask Allah swt to alleviate our hardships.
Please find the attached resources for your reference and benefit prepared by Muslim lawyers from Birchgrove Legal. https://www.anic.org.au/covid-fact-sheet