Children queued excitedly for a turn behind the wheel of a police car, tried on handcuffs and posed with riot gear as thousands turned out for a community safety event on Clapton Common earlier this week.
Organised by the Hackney branch of the voluntary neighbourhood patrol group the Shomrim, the fun day aimed to strengthen ties between the Metropolitan Police, Hackney Council’s community safety team and Stamford Hill’s Orthodox Jewish Community.
Crowds looked on as officers from the Met Dog Support Unit showed how animals are used to find evidence and apprehend suspects. Meanwhile the London Ambulance service demonstrated life-saving techniques.
Senior members of Scotland Yard’s police force attended including the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh and Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball.
Shomrim event coordinator Michael Scher said: “Both the community and the public services benefit from an event like this, it helps build bridges and understanding.”
Sergeant Dave Lamb from Hackney North East Neighbourhoods said it was an “excellent and enjoyable day”. He said: “This is the second year that we have supported the Shomrim Neighbourhood Watch with their Open Day event for members of the North East Communities.
“I was able to ensure that both local officers were on hand to discuss Neighbourhood policing matters and the attendance of specialised Met Police departments which allowed members of the public to gain a real insight into their work in support of communities across London.
“I hope it has provided members of public with the confidence to report matters to their local police teams now that they have met them face-to-face.”