Prayer is helping police in Devon and Cornwall to tackle crime, a police Inspector with the force has said.
Inspector Roger Bartlett said that an increase in local crime detection rates and the capture of a prolific burglar are a result of local churchgoers praying.
Mr Bartlett said: “Clearly, many who do not have the faith would say that this is just coincidence”.
“From my experience, the more I pray, the more coincidences I seem to see”, he commented.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton of Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Whether you believe in the power of prayer or not, the fundamental issue is that there are people out there caring about society.”
Churchgoers in the Barnstaple area were asked to pray that crime detection rates, which were at 26 per cent, would increase. The rates are now at 40 per cent, one of the highest in the country.
Inspector Bartlett also pointed to a dramatic fall in the number of serious road accidents in North Devon after he asked Christians to pray about the issue.
Mr Bartlett, who is a member of his local Christian Police Association, said: “For the past six years or so, I have reported to quarterly meetings of Christians from different churches in Barnstaple who want to pray for local policing issues.”
He noted: “I have seen a number of specific answers to their prayers like the unprecedented Halloween night in the town when the police did not have to attend a single incident of disorder.
“Also, a prolific serial dwelling burglar who, after a significant series of offences, was apprehended in very unusual circumstances within three days of that group praying that he would trip up and be caught.”
He added: “The prayers I hear from Christians are for officers to be good at their job and implement practices that will lead to offenders being brought to account and victims seeing justice done.”