An Introduction to Engagement with the Somali Community
My name is Dean Coady O.B.E, lead trainer at Urban Pure Solutions.
I am a former Parachute Regiment Soldier and Detective. I retired from Greater Manchester Police in November 2014, where my last posting was as a Prevent Engagement Officer, providing the link between the communities in Moss Side and the Counter Terrorism Unit.
I have traveled extensively throughout Africa and South America and spent time engaging with tribes and local communities throughout the world.
Over the last 10 years, it has been my honour to have continued to engage with the Somali community, centred in and around South Manchester, and develop somewhat of an understanding of this often misunderstood and insular group.
As a result of my studies, I have been called upon to give briefings to police forces, police partners and law enforcement agencies throughout the UK, offering an insight into the Somali Diaspora.
To facilitate this, I have designed a short power-point based presentation, (approx. 75 minutes duration) entitled- An Introduction to the Somali community’. It explains various aspects of Somali history and culture including: Al Shabbab, Somali naming system, Date of birth anomalies, Khat, History of the Somali Diaspora, Marriages and Divorce, Mental Health issues, FGM, Somali Gangs, Visiting Somali homes, Religion, Language- (Useful phrases) and Economy.
It is never my intention to demonize the Somali community, and I feel that this presentation goes someway to allowing learners to negate some of the negative stereotypes perpetuated by the media, allowing me to show the Somali Diaspora in a more positive light.
I have been greatly assisted in designing this presentation by trusted contacts from the Somali community who continue to support me in my mission to encourage and promote community cohesion
Having received recent feedback from previous recipients of this briefing, I believe this input would be useful to Police and partners, to increase their effectiveness in dealing with, or engaging with members of the Somali community.
If you feel you benefit from this input, please contact me to discuss further.
I have attached some feedback from previous attendees.
Kind regards and Mahadsanid (Somali for Thank you)
Feedback from previous sessions.
“On Friday 3rd May Dean Coady visited the NE Leeds Division to discuss the emerging Somalian Community and the impact of managing such communities in his home Force of GMP. His visit was initiated by a senior officer who had seen Dean present before and asked me to organise a visit to discuss his experiences with Officers who work with such communities. Dean initially talked through his approach to Prevent engagement with our CT Officers and very quickly brought them on board with the practical solutions he had to offer. He was also very interested in getting out and about to see what the area is like and saw first-hand how diverse the community is and despite us not having a large Somalian Community at this time, Dean identified that an increase was inevitable as was the case in Manchester. As the afternoon Neighbourhood Team’s arrived, Dean presented a real practitioner’s guide to policing the Somalian Community which had clear generic messages that were transferable to most communities. His style of presentation is one which drew Officer’s in and the abundant street knowledge made it both genuine and well-pitched for his audience. Officer’s reported very positively about the discussion and how credible Dean was. We were grateful that Dean could spend time in our Division and his input gave all of us a good chance to reflect on how we can work most effectively with hard to reach group such as the Somalian Community.” T.H West Yorkshire Police
“I just wanted to express my thanks to you in relation to some work Dean Coady has been assisting our team with. We are in the process of conducting engagement work with the Somali community about the use of Khat, and its criminalisation. Engagement with the Somali community has always been difficult. Dean is widely recognised as having strong links and an excellent understanding of the Somali community. As a result of this and so I approached him to ask his advice on key points of contact. Dean took the time to visit two mosques with me, conduct introductions and provide me with some further contacts. This has greatly assisted my team in starting the engagement work Time was a key factor here, and without Dean’s assistance this would have been a much longer, more difficult process. As a result I thought it important to highlight the help that Dean provided us” A.S Integrated Neighbourhood Policing Team. GMP
“Dean, Thank you so much for presenting your information to our Safeguarding Team. I had so many people coming up to me afterwards to say how much they enjoyed your presentation, your skills and knowledge in the subject of the Somalian community. At the end of the day- we all had to write down what we enjoyed the most from the day- and I have to say it was overwhelming for your attendance and presentation. It was nice because my colleagues were thanking me for inviting you!!! I think your knowledge of the Somalian people would be vital to other health professionals in their role in helping them to understand the community as a whole but also in how to work with them effectively. A BIG THANK YOU again for taking time out to come and see us- it was a brilliant presentation”. S.B Specialist Nurse Safeguarding Children (Community) Safeguarding Children Team
“I would just like to bring to your attention Dean Coady’s input on the 9th October. Due to a number of instances involving the Somalian Community in Bolton, I requested Dean to give this input. From the moment he started he captivated everyone with his fascinating knowledge of an emerging community in the Bolton area. At the end of the briefing it left everyone talking and discussing the facts he had presented to us. This was an outstanding input! The staff actually stated this was the best and most informative briefing they have had to date! This was mentioned to other supervisors who all now want the input! I would just like you to thank Dean on behalf of the shift and myself, for a fantastic update. His enthusiasm shows when he talks about this subject and he is a credit to your unit” M.T Response GMP
“On behalf of Police Scotland, can I thank Dean for taking the time to come up to Livingston and deliver his input to staff from a number of departments across our force on Friday 6th September. His presentation was very well received and he certainly provided a vast array of information that will undoubtedly assist us. He is an absolute credit to your force and his professionalism and enthusiasm deserve recognition. Again, many thanks for your assistance”. B.D National Intelligence. Police. Scotland
“To whom it may concern, Dean Coady OBE attended The University of Salford on 9th May 2013 to present a session to both MA and BA Social Work students as part of their module ‘Inter-professional Practice’. The session involved a two hour presentation which comprised of some potentially difficult subjects for the students, including terrorism, risk and personal safety. Dean approached these in a sensitive and inclusive manner, using appropriate humour and adequate detail for students undertaking a higher level academic and professional qualification.
The groups include a diverse section of the population including several older learners, multiple ethnicities and a student with hearing impairment who has signers and a note taker to support their learning. This level of diversity can be a challenge for guest speakers, especially when debating difficult issues such as terrorism, however Dean was able to answer any questions posed and demonstrated a clear ability to communicate with the students independent of their difference. I would definitely recommend Deans session for inclusion on Social Work qualification courses but also for inclusion in teaching for other related disciplines”. Kind regards, S.P Social Work Lecturer Salford College.