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Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Polish PCSO welcomed by migrant community in Yeovil
PCSO Renata Dudek with shopkeeper in Yeovil
PCSO Renata making contact with polish workers in Yeovil.

Crimes and issues affecting the Polish community in Yeovil have been brought to light thanks to a new Polish police community support officer.

For the past six weeks, PCSO Renata Dudek has been going out on patrol helping police.

She has helped with domestic abuse allegations and stabbings.

Her mentor, PSCO Jason Hillier, said the police had gained fresh information they had never received before as no-one could speak the language.

During the six weeks leading up to Christmas she worked with her mentor to familiarise herself with the patch before starting her new job at the beginning of January.

For Jason, going out on patrol with her has brought new issues to light affecting the Polish community.

"She has been incredibly well-received and as such we've been given information we've never been told before because no-one's been able to speak the language," said Jason.

"It's been a variety from domestic abuse allegations to problems with anti-social behaviour that we didn't know existed.

"We've been dealing with stabbings and all sorts of stuff that we wouldn't have had any idea about if it wasn't for Renata."

'Very useful'

Renata moved from Poland to the area several years ago.

Her language skills have also meant getting into contact with a wider cross-section of the migrant community like homeless Polish people.

"We had an incident where we had to separate some homeless men fighting, they were squabbling over alcohol, and I had to pull a men out of the crowd and ended up having to have him arrested because we couldn't calm his behaviour down.

It was a very stressful time, it's very, very useful to have a contact number for someone who speaks Polish, and who can communicate the situation
Adam Buczek

"Two days later we find the same man in the middle of the street, where it's snowing and blizzards coming down and he just was standing in a shirt, incredibly cold.

"Obviously if we left him out there, he would have more than likely died of hypothermia, so we ended up finding someone from the Yeovil Night Shelter who provided him with clothes and somewhere to sleep."

She has also been building contacts with the Polish community in Yeovil by putting up posters in Polish grocery shops to get her face known.

Adam Buczek, who runs a Polish shop, said: "It's very good to have someone who can speak Polish in places like police, hospitals or bank."

He went to explain to Renata how he had been burgled, adding, "It was a very stressful time, it's very, very useful to have a contact number for someone who speaks Polish, and who can communicate the situation."

Renata's post will cover the east division of the police force area, which covers the south and east of the county.

Her post and another based in Taunton were funded by the Migration Impacts Fund (MIF) to help migrant families.

The central government fund was created from a levy on visas with the aim of alleviating pressure on public services like the council and police force.

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