Two Polish PCSOs begin new jobs in Taunton and Yeovil

Image caption,
PCSOs Dudek and Kot during a training session at police headquarters in Portishead

Two Polish-speaking PCSOs whose posts have been funded through the Migration Impacts Fund (MIF) have started their new jobs in Somerset.

A total of £865,000 has been awarded to public bodies including the police, local councils through the MIF.

One officer will be based in Yeovil and the other will be based in Taunton.

Their aim is to work across the county with Polish communities so they can build trust and confidence in the police and reduce any fear of crime.

Visa fee

PSCO Renata Dudek said: "I would like to help the British community to understand the Polish community better and for the two to integrate."

Both officers are Polish and have previously worked in Polish community organisations in Somerset.

PSCO Iwona Kot said: "For four years I worked with the Polish community, I'm in the Taunton Association and also for one year I have been a voluntary worker at Taunton police station, so my friends from Taunton police station encouraged me to apply for this job."

They have spent eight weeks training in Portishead covering subjects such as UK law and psychology.

Dawn Martin, a trainer at Avon and Somerset police said: "Their training needs are exactly the same as English-speaking PCSOs, however to compensate for their comprehension of English law we've had one-to-one tutorials."

The MIF is created from a levy on the normal visa application fee for economic migrants and students who come to the UK from outside the EU.

The grant was secured through Somerset Strategic Partnership.

Other funded projects include Community Link Workers for Polish and Portuguese communities and mental health workers to support migrant workers in Somerset.

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