Beds, Herts & Bucks

Police officers in Bedfordshire to learn Polish phrases

Police officers in Bedfordshire are to be given lessons in Polish in a bid to break down barriers in the community.

The course for neighbourhood and police community support officers is being run by the Polish-British Integration Centre at Bedford's Polish Club.

Basic phrases will be taught to enable officers to deal with matters such as whether someone witnessed an incident without the need for a translator.

The first session begins on Thursday and the course lasts 10 weeks.

'Improving communication'

Insp Gavin Hughes-Rowland from Bedfordshire Police said: "Whilst this basic course will only give our teams a basic understanding of Polish it will help to break down some of the barriers with a community that is not always easy for us to engage with.

"It is important for the Polish community to see us working towards improving communication with them and that we wish to further build up relationships with them.

"The sort of phrases we are learning are along the lines of 'What is your name? Do you have any injuries? Do you have any friends or family that can speak English?'.

"But we also want to be able to ask questions like 'How would you prefer to be contacted?' and 'What are your neighbourhood priorities?'."

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