GALLERY: Policing methods compared as Polish officers visit Fenland
13:45 27 February 2013
FOUR police officers from Poland were in Fenland on Wednesday, and were astounded to discover that Cambridgeshire police officers go out to incidents unarmed, and sometimes alone.
The officers - who are always armed and work in pairs in their homeland - were at March police station to speak to Fenland commander Chief Inspector Mike Winters and compare their policing methods.
The Inspector heard how Polish police officers take their guns home at the end of a shift - and was told that the ratio of police officers to population is much higher in Poland than Cambridgeshire.
Chief Inspector Winter said: “I specifically asked for an opportunity to speak to the visiting officers, because of the immigrant population in Fenland and the chance to get an insight into Polish policing.
“It will help me to understand what my Polish public may think of us as local police. The officers have been impressed with our technology and the money invested in policing.”
The link between Cambridgeshire and Polish police began after Polish PCSO Norbert Ucieklak, who worked in March, returned to Poland to join the national police force. A number of exchange visits have since taken place.
Mayor of March, Councillor Jan French, was also at the police station to meet the officers, and was presented with a bottle of their local Bison Grass vodka.
The Polish officers were presented with a traditional police helmet and truncheon.
During their week’s visit to Cambridgeshire, the Polish officers met the Chief Constable Simon Parr and toured the force control room on Monday. During a trip to London on Tuesday they went to the Houses of Parliament and saw the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.
On Wednesday afternoon they went to see taser training, and yesterday, Thursday, they were due to visit the automatic number plate recognition team and CCTV unit.
One of the hosts, Inspector Andy Sullivan said: “This has been a very valuable week for both forces. Policing is the same all over the world, but it is the processes that differ.”
Detective Inspector Steve Bretherton added: “It is the use of technology by Cambridgeshire force that has very much impressed the Polish officers, including our number plate recognition system, our vehicle tracking technology, and our intelligence system.”
“They were also very impressed with the enormous breakfast they were served at the Ship pub in March.”