PEACE POLICE; Rasta Volunteers Join Bobbies on Beat SPECIAL REPORT

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), August 26, 2001 | Go to article overview

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 movement and is revered as a living prophet from his spartan offices on Holyhead Road.

In his own words, he will soon rule the planet after the creation of a new world order which will be headed by Rastafarians who he describes as God's chosen people.

Birmingham, and Handsworth in particular, is home to the biggest Rastafarian population outside Jamaica.

Their goal is to one day return to their spiritual homeland of Ethiopia, which, according to scriptures, will be the new world power.

Helping the police in Birmingham is seen as playing a vital part in the grand plan.

'By helping the police in this way we are getting an idea of how to organise ourselves when it is our time to govern,' said Mr Napthali.

'We are a peaceful people and we are helping the police to bring peace back on our streets.

'Black people are killing their own brothers and sisters and it is our duty to stop this.

'But we are not the eyes and ears for the police and if we know about certain criminals it is not our job or aim to inform on them.'

The peace officer initiative came about after the donation-funded HSPF was approached by West Midlands Police.

Currently there are three unpaid volunteers from the foundation who accompany regular police officers on patrol for up to six hours a day.

Ostensibly their role is that of observers but they have used their persuasive powers to quell potential trouble.

Their presence has proved to be a massive publicity coup for West Midlands Police, which openly admits that Rastas 'carry a lot more sway than police in Handsworth'.

But one potential stumbling block which has made Rastas and police natural enemies in the past has been glossed over by both parties.

All three peace officers openly admit to smoking marijuana for spiritual meditation and ironically one was present during the arrest of a man for possessing cannabis.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

PEACE POLICE; Rasta Volunteers Join Bobbies on Beat SPECIAL REPORT
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.