Czech Police meet with Romani recipient of MBE to compare experiences in working with the Romani community
ROMACT, a program of the Council of Europe, organized a meeting in the Czech town of Litvínov yesterday between local police officers, crime prevention assistants, and social workers with a Romani police officer who is a recipient of an MBE in the United Kingdom, Petr Torák. Mayor Kamila Bláhová who welcomed the officer to the town hall after his travel from Great Britain.
During the meeting experiences in working with the Romani community were especially debated. Differences and similarities were also raised between the work of foot patrols and other police officers in Litvínov and in the English city of Peterborough, where Torák currently works as a detective.
"The specific work with the Romani community in England is not much different from the work in Litvínov. It is very similar in several points," Ladislav Strkáč. a foot patrol officer who participated, told news server homerlive.cz.
"The essential difference is in how national minorities are approached. In that respect, strict discipline reigns in Peterborough, and all offenses with a racial subtext are strictly punished, both by the police force and by the public. It was very interesting to hear how it works in England and to listen to the story of a Romani man who has managed to work his way up there," Strkáč said.
Torák emigrated to the UK with his family from the Czech Republic in May 1999 afer they were targeted by a neo-Nazi attack. He had been attending a private law academy in the Czech Republic.
In England he worked his way up from employment in fast-food restaurants and various forms of manual labor to joining the police. Today he works as a detective in Peterborough, a community located about 120 kilometers north of London.
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