Mr Craig Guildford QPM VR DL

Chief Constable

West Midlands Police

Tuesday 21st May 2024

PUBLIC LETTER TO

WEST MIDLANDS POLICE

Dear Chief Constable,

On behalf of the concerned communities of the West Midlands, we would like to thank West Midlands Police for setting an appropriate tone of policing for Operation Biotas, to ensure that any policing of pro-Palestinian marches or protests are conducted in a fair, open and measured manner. The open letter from the previous Home Secretary to Chief Constables across the country, sought to cause division and caused significant concern to those wishing to stand up for justice. It was felt that there was an ask to discriminately police certain communities.

In our commitment to work with West Midlands Police on this matter, we are pleased to acknowledge that your senior officers have regularly liaised with the affected faith communities and have consistently kept relevant individuals and organisations informed. We have observed police officers assigned to protests having conducted themselves in a manner so as to safeguard and allow peaceful protests. Whilst sometimes we have had differences of opinions, this partnership has enabled us to work collaboratively with community organisers to make well-informed decisions, leading to protests that have been free from disturbance or disruption. It would be fair to say that the positive response from the police, so far, has been well received by the majority of impacted communities in Birmingham.

Since our first meeting at the start of the reignited conflict in October 2023, new events have transpired which bring with them a new set of challenges. The recent impetus of the global student movement has seen many university campuses across the world scattered with tents, placards and calls for a ceasefire and a divestment from companies supplying arms to Israel. A large portion of the global community are standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people during an era of unspeakable violence, devastation and calamity. This is an important moment in recent history and will be remembered as such.

Whilst we understand direct action is designed to be disruptive but not necessarily illegal, we have seen throughout history that some of the rights we enjoy today have been achieved by sacrifices made by generations before us. As organisations, institutions and businesses in the region, we acknowledge and support that the desire from these students comes from a deep sense of justice and commitment to protect human dignity. In a climate of growing social and political uncertainty, we want to reassure our communities that West Midlands Police will continue to be a trusted service that community members feel secure and unthreatened by, when peacefully engaging with protests.

As such, and in light of these recent events, we would like, commitment and reassurance that West Midlands police will continue to operate in a careful, proportionate manner corresponding with the peaceful, non-violent nature of the student movement. We do not wish to see our police service being used as a tool to evict or intimidate students exercising their right to protest.

We look forward to hearing from you and to continuing our fruitful partnership in this matter.

On behalf of the following:

  1. ⁠Abrahamic Foundation / Masjid al-Ummah
  2. Ad Duha Institute
  3. Al Fathiha Community School
  4. ⁠Al Hira Educational Centre
  5. ⁠Al-Abbas Islamic Centre
  6. Al-Hijrah Mosque
  7. Amanah Masjid
  8. Ameenia Sultania Educational Trust
  9. As-Suffa Institute
  10. Bahu Trust
  11. Birmingham Central Mosque
  12. Birmingham Masjid and Dawah Centre, Lozells
  13. Central Funeral Services LTD
  14. Darul Uloom Ghousia
  15. Darul Ifta Hanafiyyah
  16. Dudley Council of Mosques (40 mosques)
  17. Green Lane Masjid & Community Centre
  18. Handsworth Jam -e-Masjid, Booth Street, Handsworth.
  19. Hanfia Mosque
  20. Haroonia Islamic centre
  21. Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust, Sandwell (Langley Mosque)
  22. Islamic Society of Britain
  23. Jamatia Islamic Centre
  24. Jami Mosque and Islamic Centre Birmingham, Coventry Road, Small Heath
  25. Jamia Masjid & Madrassa Faiz ul Quran
  26. Jamia Masjid Gosia Ashton Birmingham
  27. Jamia Masjid Noor-e-Huda
  28. Kanz Ul Iman Masjid (Tipton)
  29. Lozells Central Mosque
  30. ⁠Mahmudsabir Masjid, Tyseley
  31. ⁠Makki Masjid.
  32. ⁠Masjid Abu Bakr Siddique
  33. ⁠Masjid Al Falaah
  34. Masjid Bilal Muddrasa Thalim Ul Quran & Community Centre
  35. Masjid Ēsa Ibn Maryam, Hall Green, B28 0LE (ArRahma Foundation)
  36. Masjid Hamza, Moseley
  37. Masjid Sulaymān Bin Dawūd, Hall Green, B28 8LE (ArRahma Foundation).
  38. Minhaj Alazhary
  39. ⁠Muslim Association of Britain (MAB)-West Midlands
  40. Muslim Association of Funeral Directors (MAFD)
  41. Muslim Educational Consultative Committee (MECC Trust )
  42. Muslim Students House Masjid and Community Centre
  43. Netherton Islamic Centre
  44. Qadria Trust
  45. Quba Masjid
  46. Raza Masjid Aston
  47. Shahjalal jami masjid and islamic centre, Poplar road, Sparkhill, Birmingham
  48. ⁠Solihull Central Masjid and Community Centre
  49. Sparkbrook Islamic Centre
  50. Sufi Abdullah Foundation
  51. ⁠Sultan Bahu Centre, Alum Rock
  52. Tajdar-e-Madina
  53. ⁠The Wisdom Cultural Islamic Centre
  54. Tipton & Tividale Islamic Community Centre
  55. Tipton Mosque
  56. ⁠Witton Islamic Centre
  57. Zia ul Quran Jamia Masjid & Community Centre
  58. Abid Hussain Property Developers
  59. AI Foods Ltd
  60. Asian Mother’s Fundraising Group
  61. Aura MMA
  62. Balsall Heath Residents Association
  63. Birmingham Artivistas
  64. Birmingham Housing
  65. Bridal
  66. Coventry PSC
  67. Dudley Palestine Solidarity Group
  68. Expectations
  69. Friends of Digby Park
  70. GH Autos
  71. Junaid’s Distributions Ltd
  72. Just Stop Oil
  73. Leicester Green Party
  74. M!shusi Ltd
  75. MAA property group
  76. Mr Halal
  77. National Logistics Academy
  78. Park free ltd
  79. Palestinian Solidarity Campaign
  80. Psychology Services
  81. Rafiq Catering
  82. Ravensbourne University
  83. Retrofit Balsall Heath
  84. S & H associates
  85. Solihull Solidarity
  86. SSS HOUSING ltd
  87. Tj Rehmi, Composer/Music Producer
  88. Town Area Residents
  89. United Church of St Paul’s Balsall Heath Anglican & URC)
  90. We Insure Extra
  91. West Midlands PSC
  92. West Midlands Retired Members Branch, UCU