I have received the following two statements on Operation RIBBON. From Churches Together:
Churches Together in High Wycombe, representing the Christian denominations in the town centre, is very sad to learn of the charges of a serious and sexual nature that have been brought against local residents and reported in today’s media. We unequivocally condemn actions which harm others – particularly the weaker and more vulnerable members of our society. We recognise, sadly, that such crimes occur across the board in all communities and all strata of society, as recent events have shown. We extend our sympathy to all those affected by these alleged crimes and will seek to support them in any way we can.
We stand in solidarity with the police and all those involved in these arrests and prosecutions. We urge all who live in this town to join us in our support for the forces of law and order and our desire to work together with all in the community to ensure that High Wycombe is a peaceful and safe place to live.
Revd Dr Gwen Collins
On behalf of Churches Together in High Wycombe Town Centre
And from Conservative Councillors Zahir Mohammed, Mahboob Hussain Bhatti, Sana Manir, Zia Ahmed and Arif Hussain:
Together we condemn the alleged utterly despicable acts of the few. These are not acts against communities but against us all as one community.
Vulnerable people exists across all sections of society and as a society it is our duty to as far as possible safeguard them. By focussing on communities instead of community we are at risk of losing focus and unintentionally failing to protect those that may still be vulnerable.
The community has so far responded extremely well, and that serves as a reminder and provides evidence that it has the resilience and higher morals to openly dismiss such acts as vile whilst simultaneously resolving to allow this crime be eradicated through obedience to the rule of law.
The police, the authorities and the community has handled this sensitively and very professionally. To root out such evils from society the community must be united and unreservedly cooperate. We cannot allow such acts to continue on our doorstep. Each and everyone of us has a responsibility to as far possible protect and safeguard themselves and one another.
We have assisted in asking the authorities to provide as much support as is possible and will do our utmost to assist in any way possible too.