SURREY Police officers joined people from Sussex Police, Surrey County Council and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service in a fasting collective to show support for Muslim colleagues and communities during Ramadan.

Organised by the Surrey Police inclusion team, the fast was initiated not only as support but also to give everyone the opportunity to learn about Islam and why Ramadan is observed by fasting each year.

For 30 days, Muslims abstain from food and drink, including water, from sunrise to sunset, as a means of strengthening and reflecting on their faith.

The collective was well attended, with 120 taking part in the fast and about 100 attending a special evening Iftar meal and event, courtesy of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community at the Mubarak Mosque near Farnham.

Iftar is the time after sunset when families and communities come together to enjoy a meal.

Surrey Chief Constable Tim De Meyer said: “It has been such a privilege to take part in the fasting collective. 

“It has been a real exercise of discipline and sacrifice, while realising what it means to have something in abundance all the time. It is important to think about how lucky we are.

“Doing the fasting as a collective with the Muslim community shows the importance of really understanding that the police, public and different communities can come together and better understand everyone’s point of view – we are stronger as a community if we are together. 

“We want to be a force that is here for everyone and where everyone feels able to join us and to belong.”