In the Czech Republic Roma assistants are helping the police connect better to local communities
The local authorities in the city of Brno have received positive feedback on a project to attach Roma assistants to the municipal police force. Although they have few powers, the assistants are making a great contribution to police work, especially to police communications on the streets. The Roma community appreciates their presence, as do policemen who value their soft skills in dealing with sensitive situations.
Their knowledge of the local area and lifestyles in the local community are proving a big plus. Roma assistants are selected for maturity, charisma and experience; characteristics which help them form useful links between the authorities and citizens. The success of the ESF co-funded project is such that the local authorities aim to take on a further five Roma police assistants in 2014.