Issues surrounding the Impact of Migrant Workers on the Policing of Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire Police responded today to comments made in the media by Ms Julie Spence, Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire, a neighbouring force. Like, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire has been affected in recent years by the impact of migrant workers on the county’s population. The implications of this on the policing of the county range from cultural differences which can affect the attitude of migrants towards the law, manifesting themselves in unacceptable behaviour (such as the carrying of weapons and drink driving), to practical operational policing implications, dealing with difficult situations which are exacerbated by parties experiencing language barriers, often requiring translation and interpretation.
The figures suggest that in Lincolnshire, foreign nationals are generally no more likely to offend, to be victims of crime, or to be involved in serious road collisions, than British citizens. While there are some specific issues which are tackled proactively by the force – for example by publishing a law guide in the nine most commonly spoken languages, or occasionally targeting a specific type of offending – the main impact on the force’s funding is overall population growth, with the county being the second fastest growing in the country in recent years.
“We consider the impact of people from other countries coming to live and work in Lincolnshire to be a positive one”, say Assistant Chief Constable, Peter Davies. “We have therefore devised long term arrangements to meet the needs of the whole community. This includes a drive for enhanced community engagement, which has helped considerably in tackling many of the issues concerning migrant workers. The migrant worker population brings with it many economic and cultural benefits to the county, and it would be wrong to focus purely on the negative effects on Lincolnshire. The issue of real importance to the policing of Lincolnshire, is the increase in number of people within Lincolnshire, not the nationality of these people”.