Improving engagement with our Romanian communities
One of our PCSOs has taken part in an online community event for the Romanian community to help improve understanding and engagement and encourage people to join us.
PCSO Simona Zetu, was born and raised in Romania and came to England for a better life for her and her family.
Her passion and commitment to raising awareness of the Romanian culture, myth busting and challenging misconceptions resulted in her setting up a project to educate people around Romanian communities.
A recent survey the project undertook in the Black Country area revealed that over 50 per cent of the Romanian community had been subject to some form of hate crime but had never reported it.
Walsall -based Simona, has continued this work and last week (24 March) took part in a Facebook live event to give an insight into her role and share advice and information.
Simona - who always dreamed of working for the police - had a couple of jobs in England before moving to Birmingham and seeing a job advert on Facebook.
Simona, who’s been with us for just over two years, said: “I saw a job advert on Facebook from West Midlands Police recruiting Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and suddenly my childhood dream was awoken.
“I remember thinking that I won’t have any chance of getting this job but I would at least apply and try my best. I did get the job and joined the most wonderful team I could have wished for.
“My colleagues were open in saying that they did not know much about Romanians before but I was impressed with the interest they showed in learning more about my culture and my country.
“I recently helped to create a survey about Romanian integration in the UK. The findings made grim reading, with more than 50 per cent having experienced hate crime, but none having reported it. I think people feel that nothing will be done.
“My work aims to raise awareness that hate crime is not acceptable and to increase knowledge about my community. Even if just one person finds it useful or rethinks their bias that would be a great achievement for me.
“Taking part in this online event was a real honour, it reached over 45,000 people and has been viewed by around 20,000 people. The engagement was really positive and was extremely well-received."
The event can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/RomaniUnitiDinAnglia2019/videos/16217458880263…
We’re committed to recruiting a more diverse workforce which better reflects the communities we serve. If you’re inspired by Simona’s work we’re recruiting - find out more here: https://jobs.west-midlands.police.uk/
For more information about local policing in Simona’s area follow her team on Twitter @StMatthewsWMP or sign up to WMNOW our free messaging service to get updates for the team at www.wmnow.co.uk