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UK cops in India for community insight

The British police team from Liverpool will pick up tips about building better relationships with the Asian community.

world Updated: Jan 16, 2006 11:04 IST

A British police team from Liverpool has flown to India to understand Indian culture and pick up tips about building better relationships with the Asian community in the Merseyside region.

The team, comprising sergeant Neil Kavanagh, special sergeant Donna Greaves and detective constable Paul Pendleton, will spend one month in the Indian sub-continent studying the culture of various communities that are represented in Merseyside.

Senior officials believe that the visit will help the police force gain a better understanding of the Indian way of life and in turn help deal with incidents involving the Asian community.

The team includes staff from the Crown Prosecution Service, the youth justice board and the health service.

Before leaving for India, Sergeant Kavanagh, a race hate and community relations officer in St Helens, told the media: "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to look at the diverse cultural aspects of life in India and to then use this to the advantage of Merseyside police and the work I do.

"We want to maximise the trip's value by gaining knowledge that may assist others with their work and help us achieve our goal of being the best police force in the country."

Vinnie Tomlinson, chair of Merseyside Black Police Association, said the scheme could help officers build better links with the community.

He said: "The worst thing we can do is make assumptions about people from our ethnic minority communities.

"We should be doing everything we can to get to know about them and their culture so we can understand their issues."

First Published: Jan 16, 2006 11:00 IST