UK police to recruit Sinhalese speaking officers

British police are looking to recruit Sinhalese speaking policemen as part of a recruitment drive in the hope of finding more bilingual officers.

The Metropolitan Police hopes to increase the number officers able to speak and understand 14 of the languages used across London.

A recruitment update on the Metropolitan Police’s careers website states: “Whilst our police officers are able to effectively carry out their duties without the ability to speak a second language, a police constable with this skill is an asset in helping both themselves and their colleagues to more effectively engage with the community and deal with everyday policing situations.

Police-speak-two-language-450x300“Unless you meet our eligibility criteria, you are unable to submit an application to become a police officer at this stage.”

Those without a second language can still apply to be a special constable.

The month-long pilot campaign launched yesterday. The desired languages are; Yoruba (Nigeria), Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Punjabi, Italian, German, Turkish, Greek, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Sinhala (Sri Lanka) and Bengali.

The Metropolitan Police Chief, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, welcomed the move: “We know that almost 300 languages are spoken in the capital. We need to recruit and deploy officers with second languages in areas where those languages are spoken.”

“I believe it will help boost confidence, help to solve crime more effectively and support victims and witnesses.”

Clare Davies, Head of HR for the Metropolitan Police, said: “These officers will be deployed into the community as the first line of contact with victims and witnesses, in areas where we believe it will make a difference.” (Colombo Gazette)