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Slovak Police train Czech colleagues to work among Romani people

2.5.2015 2:22
The flag of the Slovak Republic. Photo:  Archiv Romea.cz
The flag of the Slovak Republic. Photo: Archiv Romea.cz

Slovak police officers are training their Czech colleagues to work in Romani communities. A total of 76 officers from the Czech Republic are involved in the ongoing training visits to Slovakia.

Marianna Paulíková, spokesperson for the Slovak Police Presidium, informed the Czech News Agency of the program on 28 April. "The main aim of the visits by our Czech colleagues is to acquire experience in practice with the work of the Romani specialists in Slovakia," she said.

The visits are part of a Czech project focused on introducing the position of police specialists for work with Romani people in socially excluded localities in the Czech Republic. The project anticipates the training of several dozen officers from rank and file units to serve in Romani communities.

The project is being paid for by Norway Grants. The Czech Interior Ministryfirst proposed deploying police specialists to the ghettos in the Czech Republic in 2013.  

According to previous analyses, there are around 300 impoverished apartment complexes and neighborhoods throughout the Czech Republic. As many as 80 000 people, most of them Romani, live in such places.

The Slovak Police have trained their own specialists for work with the Romani minority in the past. The courses were focused on the specifics of the Romani community and on intervention tactics.

Slovak Police are currently facing harsh criticism for their brutal interventions against Romani people during police raids on Romani settlements. Almost 106 000 people identified as Romani during the last census in the country of five million.  

According to a study from the year 2013 conducted by both Slovak institutions and those from abroad, there are actually more than 400 000 Romani people living in the country. Most of them live in approximately 800 settlements, especially in central and eastern Slovakia.   

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Policie, Vzdělávání, Interior Ministry, Norway



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