31,000 police to get lessons in 18 lingos

Around 31,000 cops are to get the chance to learn one of EIGHTEEN languages — to improve communication with ethnic groups.

Beat bobbies in London can choose from Spanish to Somali.

Courses will cost £400 per head and GCSE-level lessons will span six weeks and be taught over 40 hours. French and German will be offered with exotic dialects to match immigration patterns.

Questions such as “Hello, hello, hello, what have we here?” in Turkish (“Merhaba, merhaba, merhaba, ne burada var?”) could soon be commonplace.

“You’re nicked, mate” in Lithuanian (“Jûs esate areðto, draugui”) and “Drop the scrap metal, now” (“Ma shang fang sia laan teeah”) in Mandarin, could also be used on 999 calls and street patrols.

The most popular courses so far — run by the Chartered Institute of Linguists and ending with a three-day assessment — are Spanish, Arabic and Polish. Bosses hope to fill 120 places this year.

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