Sheffield officers take part in Roma Slovak culture course

Police officers in Sheffield have taken part in a Roma Slovak culture course in a bid to help develop closer links with the community.

Thursday, 20th June 2019, 10:21 am
Police officers have taken part in a Roma Slovak culture course

The course, run by the Sheffield Roma Network, was held in Fir Vale, which has a sizeable Roma Slovak community.

Sergeant Phil Mackey, of the Sheffield North East Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We have a large Roma Slovak community in our area and there is no hiding the fact that we need to get better as a force at communicating with residents.

“A lot of work has gone into building these links over the last year or so and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our understanding of cultural differences.”

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As part of the course, our officers have learnt about the history of Roma Slovak migration, family structures and the prejudices faced by the community.

They have also had a lesson in basic language skills, with an emphasis on basic phrases to assist with initial communication.

Sgt Mackey added: “It’s been incredibly useful for us to gain an insight into the social structures within this community and learn about potential barriers to integration, some of which have been well publicised locally.

“I hope that what we have learnt this week will translate into some positive new interaction with residents. Successful community policing is about mutual respect and us being prepared to develop our knowledge can only be a good thing.”