Polish police visit Fenland

Polish police officers visiting March Police Station. Arranged through International Police Association.'left to right Jakub Skrzypek, Adam Stepczynski, Chf Insp Mike Winters, Marek Dzierzega and Janus Trzesimiech
Polish police officers visiting March Police Station. Arranged through International Police Association.'left to right Jakub Skrzypek, Adam Stepczynski, Chf Insp Mike Winters, Marek Dzierzega and Janus Trzesimiech

Policing methods were shared when four Polish police officers visited Fenland.

The officers were shocked to learn that British police are unarmed and go out alone, something that is unheard of in Poland.

The four officers – CID Inspector Janusz Trzesimiech, CID Komisare Jakub Skrzypek, Reactive and Firearms Aspirant Marek Dzierzega and PSU Unit Aspirant Adam Stepczynski – spent last week in England to gain a better understanding of how the British police force works and see what they can take back to their own country.

For the Fenland police, it was a chance to gain insight into how Polish people view the police and see how they deal with the same issues we have in the UK.

Chief Inspector Mike Winters said: “We do have a significant migrant community here. It has been interesting to get a better understanding of the policing culture in Poland. It is so very different to how we approach it. It has been fascinating.”

While the Polish police officers, who come from Katowice, were taken aback by some more mundane items – namely separate hot and cold taps and pull cord light switches – they were impressed by the level of technology used and the wealth of information available to officers.

In Poland, some officers do not have work mobile phones and they do not have instant access to files and mugshots, as British police do. They were also very impressed by the Automatic Numberplate Recognition (ANPR) system used by police to catch those driving without MOTs or insurance.

In turn, the British police officers were surprised by the high numbers of police in Poland.

The national police force has 10,000 officers for a population of two million people, while Cambridgeshire has 3,000 officers, including PCSOs, for a 800,000 population. This works out to one officer per 200 people in Poland and per 267 people in Cambridgeshire.

Perception of police in Poland appears to be positive, with 70 per cent of people supporting the police, even though they have a more direct approach in their policing methods.

The Polish guests met March Mayor Jan French on Wednesday and presented her with a bottle of local vodka. The officers were presented with a traditional police helmet and truncheon.

They also visited London, where they enjoyed the tourist sights, had a Taser demonstration and visited a CCTV unit in Peterborough.