Community Cohesion team helps Bedford’s communities stay safe

The multi-lingual cohesion team interpreters

Bedfordshire Police’s Community Cohesion team have been helping everyone in the Borough to understand the government’s coronavirus message.

Members of the team led the way recording messages in Urdu, Bengali and Punjabi to reinforce the government’s advice of staying home, washing your hands and helping to save lives.

Officers from the unit then enlisted the help of people from across the county who they work with on a daily basis to record further messages in Hungarian, Polish and British Sign Language, Tamil, Romanian, Gujarati, Italian and a range of others.

“This is a worrying time for everyone, but for most of us we can access the information we need because it’s in our own language,” said Alison Crook, deaf awareness campaigner.

“For the Deaf sign language-using community this is a real challenge and what the cohesion team have done here is to say ‘we recognise your language, you matter and we are here for you too’.”

The short videos are already being shared across community groups and the public are being urged to share them wider.

Community Cohesion Sergeant Karanjit Sanghera said, “During such uncertain times it is heartening to see the very best being brought out of our communities as people join together to support our local people.

“We are renowned for our community spirit in Bedfordshire and we are now urging everyone to play their part and follow our guidance. Together we are so much stronger.

“We are humbled by the messages of support and appreciation as we carry out our duties in this challenging time and are now asking for you all to help us help you by staying at home.

“Living with such restrictions is difficult but these are unprecedented times and we all need to work together to keep our neighbourhoods and safe.”

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