Police go multi-lingual in new campaign

SUFFOLK police are set to become multi-lingual in their attempt to combat the rising number of foreign motoring offenders.Officers are bidding to curb the spiralling problem of motorists from other countries driving while drunk and ignoring Britain's seatbelt laws.

SUFFOLK police are set to become multi-lingual in their attempt to combat the rising number of foreign motoring offenders.

Officers are bidding to curb the spiralling problem of motorists from other countries driving while drunk and ignoring Britain's seatbelt laws.

Chief inspector Martin Barnes-Smith, of Suffolk's road policing unit said: “We are in the process of having our road safety message translated into the languages of the various communities we have in Suffolk.

“We do recognise with the increase, and influx, of European Union citizens driving legislation, practices and behaviour are different all over Europe. We have to deal with people who come into the country who have a different view of driving than we do.”

Throughout the last year there has been a noticeable increase in the amount of drink drivers from eastern Europe, particularly Poland, appearing in magistrates' courts.

The trend was illustrated through the Evening Star's Christmas anti drink-drive campaign.

Most Read

Ch Insp Barnes-Smith said the force's main priorities were to eliminate drink driving, the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving, speeding and ensuring all motorists and passengers wear seatbelts.

He is currently working with other authorities, including Suffolk County Council, as he moves towards the publishing of the county's road safety pamphlet in a multitude of different languages.

Aside from Eastern European and other EU languages, Ch Insp Barnes-Smith said he is also looking to get the leaflet printed so people from Asian countries will be able to understand them, although there may have to be the odd compromise.

He said: “We are not going to be able to cater for everybody. There may be cases where their particular language is not translated into their dialect.”

It is hoped that the pamphlets will be printed up and ready for distribution by the early part of next month.

For road safety advice visit www.suffolk.police.uk or www.suffolkroadsafe.net.

N What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter