iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

Asian News International, PTI
London, September 20, 2004
If you are going to London and can't speak English, take heart from the fact that in the near future, you could actually converse with the London police in Punjabi or Bengali. The British authorities have passed a new law which will actually give preference to hiring ethnically diverse police officers.

According to the Minister in charge of Policing, Hazel Blears, the new law has been passed to enable the British police force to reflect the of ethnic breakdown of London's population and also because policing would be much more effective, if people were checked in their own language, reports the Independent.

The new law, which ensures that the British police will recruit foreign speaking candidates before they hire only English speaking ones, also hopes to give an elixir to the race relations within minority communities as well as increase the number of non-white officers in the force.

With the move, which will probably include specifying that candidates applying for the police should know certain languages, the officials are also hoping to win some public support for the cops.

"I am thinking about genuine occupational qualifications where you can stipulate you need people with particular backgrounds," the report quoted Blears as saying.

"I met some police officers who were policing the Cypriot community in London and they were desperate for people who could speak the language. And they found when they got those officers the engagement with these communities was tremendous which then reflected in their ability to fight crime," she added.