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Derbyshire Police to guide immigrants on settling down in the country

Launches information pack

9th September 2011: With an aim to guide migrants, the Derbyshire Police has launched a pack for helping them settle down in the country.

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The Chief Inspector Brian Mckeown, Head of Community Safety at Derbyshire Police Headquarters, said,” We need to understand what the immigrants need from the Police so we can deliver our policing to meet their needs; if we don’t listen, we won’t know".

The New Arrivals Essential Information Pack has 10 separate leaflets. These intend to address issues which migrant workers need to know about, when settling in the county such as laws, customs and essential advice on housing, education and healthcare services.

Chief Inspector McKeown said he was honoured to introduce the packs, which he stressed, had not been financed by the police force but by home office funding and money from The East Midland Development Agency.

The money has paid for two outreach workers who’s job was, he said, "Deal with the migrant community, which consists of around 4,000 people in Derbyshire – made up of 80 percent Polish, but also workers from Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria."

He told that the  majority live in Chesterfield and Bolsover which is why the launch was taking place at the Donut Creative Arts Studio, even though the funding covers the entire county.

McKeown asserted the main aim of the scheme was to engage with the migrant community, to help them transfer here and to educate those already here so that understand UK laws and customs. He elaborated they also need to educate everyone on EU migrant workers and their needs – to make the whole community integrated and settled.

The Chief Inspector admitted working with the migrants was also about instilling confidence in the police force and agencies working with them on both sides. He added it was also about observing tensions as the migrant community can be victims of hate crimes, purely based on who they are and where they’re from. This is the reason the police consider they need to encourage reporting of this – having one outreach worker who speaks Polish is helpful – He adds, “we need to listen – if we don’t know it’s happening, how can we help?"

Derbyshire police was keen to promote variety in its own force and the Chief Inspector admitted that there have been some migrants who had joined the force, as PCSO’s and Specials, so they have the broad cultural aspect which represents the community. Emma Todd one of the outreach workers who designed the pack and works within the migrant community talked to Chesterfield Post. She informed that the leaflets were vital in helping the migrants to settle and that they would make a difference, not only to the workers, but also to the communities.

 It’s essential that migrants have these so that they know about living in Derbyshire. For instance, that they need to put their bins out, rather than just piling up the rubbish – they don’t have council tax in Poland. Emma added that things like which help ease community tensions locally. They also need to know about reserves they can access which will relieve financial difficulty, again helping to reduce criminality.
There are not many recorded incidents of hate crimes in Derbyshire Emma disclosed, but said that "We don’t know for sure that they’re being reported, so we need to build up confidence that they can report these things to us.”

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