Fifty asylum seekers from different parts of the world, currently settled in South Yorkshire, met at the Lifewise Centre, Hellaby, on Monday, 24 October to hear from a number of local agencies about how to adjust to living in the United Kingdom.

Dr Alan Billings, the Police and Crime Commissioner, went along to talk to the group about policing in Britain.  He explained to them how police in the UK are generally not armed and that officers are there to help the public.

Other sessions covered issues as diverse as housing and simple first aid. They were organised by the Doncaster Conversation Club led by Jan Foster.

Dr Billings said: “Many of the asylum seekers had come from dire situations of civil war or violent conflict, or places where they faced persecution because of their beliefs.

“They will not all be granted asylum but if they are we want them to understand as far as possible how to live according to such values as tolerance and mutual respect.

“One of the police officers told me that an asylum seeker on a previous occasion had asked where the torture rooms were in English police stations. This gives some idea of the conditions some were fleeing from.  They also need to know that British police operate by a code of ethics.”

Police Community Support Officers were also in attendance at the event and explained that the police were there to serve the public and they should not be afraid to talk to them if they saw them in the street or to ask them for any help they needed.

If you would like more information on the Doncaster Conversation Club please contact Jan Foster on 07505 854115.