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Monday, 5 August, 2002, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Foreign students given 'queuing' lessons
Bus queue
Police want to uphold English customs
Overseas students visiting Britain for the summer are to be given extra lessons in the quintessential English art of queuing.

Police in Devon and Cornwall hope the addition to the youngsters' curriculum will placate locals concerned about an influx of continental queue-jumpers.

Under the code name Operation Columbus, officers will be asking students to respect English customs and have printed posters saying "Be Polite, Join the Queue".

The advice also warns the teenage visitors against carrying weapons, dropping litter, stealing or making noise late at night.

'Unwitting'

Pc Simon Dell, co-ordinator of Operation Columbus, said he was keen to avoid frictions between the youngsters and local people.

Operation Columbus poster
A series of posters illustrate English etiquette
He told Police Review magazine: "We are all different, thank goodness, and the young people do come from different cultural backgrounds.

"But in Britain we are the biggest queuers on earth. We are saying to them 'don't push in'."

"We are saying to the students - make sure you are not unwittingly becoming a victim because of what you are doing or not doing."

Racist incidents

To drive the message home one poster features an oblivious cartoon backpacker nipping onto a bus as irate pensioners and a mother and child look on.

Devon and Cornwall are havens for foreign students and language schools because of their closeness to mainland Europe and large stretches of coastline.

Operation Columbus is being run in connection with language schools and local councils.

Police in the two counties say if any student is a victim of crime, the attack is treated as a racist incident.


Click here to go to Devon


See also:

06 Oct 00 | Education
04 Jan 00 | UK
01 Jul 99 | e-cyclopedia
18 Jul 02 | England
08 Jan 00 | Politics
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