Police repotr : Devon and Cornwall response
The Devon and Cornwall police have responded to the Celtic League query over language and cultural commitment. The League query is part of a general compilation of attitudes in Police Services throughout the Celtic countries.
The latest response is one of the most lack-lustre so far received (See below):
"Devon and Cornwall Constabulary May 2009
Dear Mr Tal-e-bot
Thank you for your recent communication regarding Cornish language and cultural commitment.
You have asked a number of questions relating to the above and I will try to answer all of them.
Also you have mentioned other Constabularies and I would be interested in receiving a copy of their responses so that where appropriate we might be able to share ideas and good practice.
With regard to your questions I have to say that all answers hinge on the aspect of identified need and reasonableness.
Cornish, as I am sure you will agree, is neither a widespread nor currently a first language, unlike say, Welsh.
All issues of translation are met on a needs and reasonableness basis. And wherever possible, when these are identified, we make every effort to meet those needs.
It is not, in my opinion, a need nor is it reasonable for funding to be allocated to the change of uniform or vehicle livery as you have described. This is especially so in these economically challenging times.
With regard to our website, this has been undergoing an upgrade and will be linked to the `Google' translator application. I have checked and cannot see Cornish listed as an option for translation so, might I suggest that your group contact them directly to discuss opportunities for Cornish to be included.
All officers are encouraged to continue with life long learning. Where that learning is linked to a business need then some funding (i.e. monetary or opportunity costs, such as time off, duty time etc.) can be allocated. Where it is not linked to a business need then there is some flexibility within the PDR process to support personal development objectives such as learning a second language.
We do not have a specific Cornish language policy. For that matter we do not have any specific `language' policy per se.
I am sure you will appreciate the issue of culture and identity can be both unifying and/or divisive dependent upon your approach. We recognise the former and try to minimise the latter. As we cover the areas of Devon, Cornwall and the isles of Scilly it makes sense to focus our work in those areas. As such we recognise and have representation on the Diversity Network for Cornwall group. We will look to develop and promote good community cohesion and identity through the ideas, projects and initiatives identified at their meetings. We are also keen to promote our Partners and Communities Together (PaCT) approach and where the issues of cultural and linguistic identity are raised through that approach we will seek to ensure that the appropriate agency will provide a response to the issue raised.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write, if there are any other issues you wish to raise please do not hesitate to contact me.
John Jackson Diversity Unit Devon and Cornwall Constabulary"
The first section of the 'Celtic League Police Report" which was presented to the 2008 AGM can be found at:
Related items on Celtic News at:
J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League