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Roma woman flees racial attacks in Czech Republic, becomes UK police officer

Great Britain, 29.9.2014 16:48, (ROMEA)
From left to right:  Assistant to the director of Social Services in Peterborough, Sue Westcott; inspector Dominic Glazebrook; Romani police assistant Petr Torak. (PHOTO:   Peterborough Telegraph, www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk)
From left to right: Assistant to the director of Social Services in Peterborough, Sue Westcott; inspector Dominic Glazebrook; Romani police assistant Petr Torak. (PHOTO: Peterborough Telegraph, www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk)

In Czech society, stereotypes usually put ethnic Roma on the wrong side of the law. In Great Britain, Romani people are offered unsuspected opportunities, and so it is that Dana Ghosh, a Romani woman from the Czech Republic, is in her police uniform for the first time today.

In the English town of Peterborough, Ghosh is expected to mainly serve the large Romani community. Czech Radio reports that her ethnic origin was not important at all when she applied for the prestigious job.

"I liked the idea. I thought about it a lot and ultimately I decided to go for it. The whole process lasted about five months. I learned I got the job a couple of weeks ago. I'm enthusiastic about it," says Ghosh, who is originally from the town of Opava.

Ghosh, who is now a mother of two, left the Czech Republic with her parents and siblings because of racial attacks in 1998 and relocated to Britain. Now the delicate, elegant young woman in her third year of college has become a community police officer.  

"I didn't say I was a Romani woman during the interview, but I remembered that I speak Romani fluently," Ghosh says. Reportedly no one even asked about her ethnic origin.

"I can imagine being useful in that field. I definitely will do my best to help the community and people here as much as possible. Probably the most troubled area, in my opinion, will be Pakistani and Romani relations," she says.

Another Peterborough police officer of Romani origin from the Czech Republic, a man, is already working in that area. "I am looking forward to having a colleague here who will be able to shoulder part of my obligations and my work. I will support her however I can so that everyone in the community knows who she is. I believe she really has great potential to change the way the community runs, for people to trust her," says officer Petr Torák (pictured above).

"For Dana this is really a chance to become a role model, not just for the Romani community, but generally for the members of all national minorities. When a police officer is directly a member of the community she serves, there's no language barrier, that's a big victory," says experienced police officer Jim Davies, who also chairs the Gypsy Roma Traveller Police Association.

fk, Czech Radio, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Czech Republic, Policie, Roma, UK



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