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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 June 2007, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
No Poles make it into PSNI ranks
Police hats
Not one Polish person out of almost 600 who applied to join the PSNI have been recruited, it has been revealed.

A Polish officer who has worked in NI said there was more work to be done before Poles could sign up to the PSNI.

Sebastian Serwiak, who was seconded to the PSNI for six months, said he had been asked by the PSNI how best to facilitate Poles joining the service.

The PSNI said it wanted to "ensure that the police service is representative of the communities we serve".

Mr Serwiak said they had encountered a number of obstacles which made it difficult for Poles to join the PSNI.

We will find a way to solve the problem because there is the will and cooperation on both sides
Sebastian Serwiak
"I know that there were a few hundred Polish who applied to work for the PSNI and language exams were held in Warsaw," he said.

"But only two Polish people passed the exams and those two never appeared in Northern Ireland for the second part of the exam, which was a scenario.

"The problem with vetting was our expectation, because at the moment we have no problem to exchange records concerning convictions, however at the moment we can't exchange intelligence.

"As long as you can't check out someone's criminal record, you can't really accept that person to become a police officer."

However, Mr Serwiak said there were some potential solutions to the problem.

"You don't really need to exchange all intelligence data - you just need confirmation from the Polish police that the person is suitable for the police service."

He added: "I am absolutely sure that whenever a Polish applicant passes the exams and scenario, we will find a way to solve the problem - because there is the will and cooperation on both sides."

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