In their own words, some of our colleagues who have been observing Ramadan over the last few weeks explain more about the importance of this period.
PC Sanna Khan
“I have been a PC with South Wales Police for two years, and I am shortly due to move into a detective role. Prior to that I was working in Thames Valley Police.
“I am a Pakistani Muslim, and have been observing Ramadan over the last few weeks. During the month of Ramadan, we abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset each day.
“Ramadan is also a time for spiritual reflection and self-discipline, while the fasting element of the month teaches us empathy for those who are less fortunate than we are.
“Working in the police while fasting can be difficult at times, but Ramadan is all about self-control, spiritual purification, and devotion to religion.
“I am really fortunate to have had the support of colleagues. I have been able to work more flexible hours in order to suit my schedule, which I am grateful for.”
Chief Inspector Sohail Anwar
“I have spent 17 years as a police officer within South Wales Police and have marked the holy Islamic month of Ramadan every year – it’s a very important month for Muslims.
“For me the fasting element of Ramadan is about empathising with those who don’t have enough to eat – who are living in poverty. A lot of people in the world haven’t got a choice about whether they fast or not, and abstaining from food and drink during the hours of daylight encourages that empathy for those who are less fortunate than we are.
“Colleagues are really supportive and understanding. It’s worth saying that those observing Ramadan can do the job just as well as they do throughout the rest of the year, but the understanding and support of colleagues does make an important difference.
“I am an operational Chief Inspector covering Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, responsible for the ‘Bronze’ Inspectors who manage live incidents 24/7. I also currently manage a number of other portfolios.
“I have worked in a variety of both uniformed and non-uniformed roles throughout my service and in different parts of the force. I have always felt supported by the senior management team and now take the opportunity to support my colleagues who are also observing Ramadan.”
“I am a Bengali Muslim and have been observing Ramadan this month.
“Abstaining from food and drink is what most people think about when you mention Ramadan, but it’s actually only a small part of it. It’s also a time for extra worship, being especially mindful of what you say and do, and giving to charity.
“I’ve been with South Wales Police for five years, working in the neighbourhood policing team (NPT) in Cardiff Bay. I’ve had supportive sergeants throughout my time in the police, and during Ramadan I am able to swap or amend my shifts, depending on staffing numbers.
“Our NPT is a diverse team, and every year some of my colleagues take some time to fast with me to show their support.
“I also work in a very diverse area. I visit mosques as part of my job, and sometimes take advantage of the prayer facilities there, as well as our multi-faith prayer room in the police station.
“Ramadan is about trying to get closer to God. It’s like a recharge, spiritually.”