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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and Bishop Jonathan Jackson of the New Testament Church of God The Rock have released a joint statement on the importance of communities pulling together to keep each other safe and to keep COVID-19, which continues to present challenges to all of us, under control.

“In these most difficult of times, it is vital that as the community and as the people of the West Midlands we unite to tackle the virus and keep those we love and care about safe.

“We know that everybody wants their lives to go back to normal, to see their families again to spend time with friends as they were before. But to help us get anywhere close to that we all must play our part in tackling the virus. From social distancing to wearing our face coverings and following the rules that are here to protect us.

“We must work together protect all of our communities in the West Midlands. This is an unprecedented time for policing and enforcement of the Covid rules in this way is unusual in the UK and can feel intrusive. Our police are here to support all communities and keep everyone safe at a time when we are seeing increased calls for service relating to these new rules.

“This is also a really challenging time for faith leaders who are helping to support their communities in the most difficult circumstances including supporting those who have lost loved ones.

“The police will work closely with our churches, which play a key role in bringing people together and providing some hope and normality. Ensuring that we can maintain our churches, and all places of worship, is going to be very important in the comings months.

“Faith groups play an essential role in supporting communities in the West Midlands. Never has that been more true than during the coronavirus crisis.

“We will come through this by uniting and coming together, we will do this much quicker and in much higher spirits – as one community.

“Building partnerships with police, with the council, with other faith groups and organisations we have a real opportunity to define what is our community.

“As we continue to follow the rules which we have been presented with, however frustrating they can be at times, they are here for the benefit of us all and to keep us from losing those we care about.”

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