Police to take Polish lessons

THE old police phrase 'ello, 'ello, 'ello could soon be replaced by “witaj, witaj, witaj” after dozens of bobbies signed up to learn Polish.

THE old police phrase 'ello, 'ello, 'ello could soon be replaced by “witaj, witaj, witaj” after dozens of bobbies signed up to learn Polish.

In total 46 officers and police staff have signed up for classes in the eastern European language which will help them learn the language and something of the Polish culture.

The lessons were the brain child of the police's retired western area partnership manager Bob Taylor, and new partnership coordinator Stuart Hudson who where approached by PCs who said they wanted to communicate better with Polish people living in their beat areas.

Mr Hudson said: “The Polish influx into the area is new and the teams want to engage with all sections of the community. After being asked by a couple of officers for more information and possibly lessons in Polish, we put the idea out to officers across west Suffolk and got a large response.

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“The course has been designed to introduce the officers to the culture and attitudes of Polish people and give an introduction to the Polish language.

“The feedback I have received from those taking part is that learning the Polish language hasn't been easy. But they have stuck with their studies, completed the course and will be putting their new skills into practice now.

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“These initial classes have been well received and I hope that we can offer more lessons to more officers.”

Sgt Clare Mowson, a police officer who signed up to learn Polish, said: “I was very keen to take these lessons, as there is a growing Polish community in my Safer Neighbourhood Team area.

“I have already been looking at ways to integrate with them, and set up meetings at several factories where a number of Polish nationals are employed, to introduce them to policing in Suffolk and how we can help. I arranged for Safer Neighbourhood Team leaflets to be translated into Polish as well as Russian and Lithuanian.

“This training will help my team and I interact further with the Polish community, and gives me an understanding of Polish culture and how the growing Polish community perceives British culture. Safer Neighbourhood Teams are here to serve the whole community, and this training has enabled me to help Polish nationals feel included and hopefully feel able to come to the police if they need our help.”

Their teacher, Marta Bowen, said: “I hope that the Polish lessons will help police officers and staff in west Suffolk with the integration of migrant workers and their families in Suffolk. I strongly believe that speaking to someone in their language can foster better community relations.”

Members of the Polish community have been invited to speak to the officers about the initiative at a Polish language and culture evening to be held at Mildenhall College of Technology on December 3.

As well as celebrating the completion of the language course there will also be entertainment from “Klosy”, a Polish dance group from Cambridge, and traditional Polish dishes to sample.

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