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Czech Republic: Romani police assistants to end on 20 December in Nový Bor

Nový Bor, 6.12.2011 16:36, (ROMEA)

Jiří Zemanec, chief of police in Nový Bor, has told news server iDNES.cz that the town will be hiring more patrol officers and that miniature video cameras will be part of police uniforms. The moves are just some of the measures the town hall has taken in hopes of increasing security. Police reinforcements were sent there earlier this year to maintain order.

The patrol officers received the mini-cameras yesterday. They are intended for recording police actions in real time, primarily to document that interventions have been performed correctly, and are capable of delivering both high-quality audio and video.

"This is not our only effort to improve the patrol officers' work. The patrols will also get another, rotatable video camera in their vehicles to record what happens either inside or outside during an intervention. Each vehicle also has a new GPS navigation system to keep track of where the patrol has been while on duty," said Mayor of Nový Bor Jaromír Dvořák.

The town hall recently created the new post of deputy commander for service performance to monitor the patrol officers. After a series of attacks in the town, the council decided to increase the number of patrol officers to 14.

"We will operate with a full force as of 1 January. Another change we are planning is to have the patrol officers undergo regular physical tests and a self-defense course," the mayor told news server iDnes.cz.

Crime prevention assistants drawn from members of the Romani community have also been active in the town for several weeks. "I think they have improved communications between some Roma and the town hall, but they will stop work on 20 December. We don't yet know whether we will find money for them to continue," Dvořák told iDNES.cz.

The situation in the town is calmer now than it was. Dvořák attributes that to the 10-member groups of riot police that have alternated in performing week-long tours of duty there.

"We are very actively collaborating with the special forces police unit. For example, the workers at the local bakery, who walk to work at 4:30 AM, turned to me because they are afraid of attack at that time of day. We agreed to patrol the area at that time," the mayor said.

František Bikár, Gwendolyn Albert, iDNES.cz, brf, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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