PEACE POLICE; Rasta Volunteers Join Bobbies on Beat SPECIAL REPORT
Byline: AMARDEEP BASSEY
THE introduction of Rastafarian 'peace officers' patrolling the streets of Handsworth alongside beat police officers has been heralded as a breakthrough in community relations.
Decades of mistrust appear to have been overcome as the unlikely alliance with the Haile Selassie Peace Foundation (HSPF) has already resulted in several arrests.
But, according to the group's president and self-styled prophet, his volunteers are there to keep an eye on the police as much as help them.
'We are not the police and we do not want to be,' said Itabarica Napthali.
'We are not here to inform on our brothers and sisters. We are observers only, watching the police as well as the community.'
Jamaican-born Mr Napthali, 54, is the spiritual head of a worldwide Rastafarian …
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Publication information: Article title: PEACE POLICE; Rasta Volunteers Join Bobbies on Beat SPECIAL REPORT. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England). Publication date: August 26, 2001. Page number: 16. © 2009 Birmingham Post & Mail Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.
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