Officers speak up to break language barriers

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A novel idea to capitalise on language skills held by police in Westminster could help soothe some of the tensions caused by fighting terrorism, a senior officer has said.

More than 300 officers in Westminster, central London, have volunteered to register their often previously untapped skills.

Police hope a new database of language and cultural skills aimed at improving communication between officers and residents will lead the way for forces across the UK.

Borough commander Steve Allen said there is a danger that diversity work is being “overtaken” by a focus on counter-terrorism.

Speaking about how the fight against extremists threatened to alienate some sections of the community, he said: “This is a real challenge, not just for us in Westminster but for us as a society.”

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