Sheffield officers' new interactions through Roma Slovak culture course.

The policing team in the Firvale area are taking a crash course on Roma Slovak culture and language to better their understanding and communications with the community.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 10:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 10:54 am
Sergeant Philip Mackey

The course was run by the Sheffield Roma network over two day sessions.

Tomas Tancos, 21, one of the leading workers of the Roma Network said that the course is very positive for both the English community and the Roma community.

Tomas Tancos - Lead in the Roma Network.

“Especially as the police are out on the streets where they will talk to resident, learning basic phrases gives the Roma people community confidence to interact as well.” He said.

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Tomas believes that this course and other activities between local authorities and the Roma Network is the way forward for better cohesion and cultural learning.

Sergeant Phil Mackey who took part in the course 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.”

As part of the course, officers learn about the history of Roma Slovak family structure and values that help them get a better understanding of their culture.

“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.” said Sergeant Mackey

They learnt basic language skills with an emphasis on basic phrases to help them with initial communication.

The team in Firvale said that they have been working hard to develop links with the community and that they are always looking for ways to improve understanding of cultural differences with the Roma community.

“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.” Said Sergeant Mackey.