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Police aim to recruit more ethnic minorities

Austrian police are stepping up efforts to recruit more people from ethnic minorities to join the force.

Police aim to recruit more ethnic minorities
The Islamic Centre in Floridsdorf. Photo: wien-vienna.at

According to the Kronen Zeitung newspaper the aim of the recruitment drive is to make sure police officers have a better cultural understanding of the increasing number of Austrians who have a migrant background, and to shake off a reputation for discrimination and racism.

For the first time the police have even been promoting the force within an Islamic centre in Vienna.

There are almost 600,000 Muslims living in Austria, and more than 200,000 live in Vienna – a population trend which is expected to grow. However, only about three percent of police officers are Muslims.

“The general objective is, that the police force should end up reflecting our society. This is a program which has been around for a while,” a statement from the office of Vienna Integration City Councillor Sandra Frauenberger read.

It’s believed that Muslim police officers will find it easier to gain acceptance and trust within Muslim communities.

Police and representatives from the Integration Department recently held an event at Vienna’s Islamic Centre in Floridsdorf.

However, the chairman of the Turkish cultural community, Birol Kilic felt that it was wrong to target mosques as part of the recruitment drive. “They should leave the real prayer houses in peace and should be advertising in schools… They don’t go to churches to try and recruit more ‘Christian’ youths. I find it rather questionable,” he said.

LIVING IN AUSTRIA

‘Decomposing smell’: Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

Austria's police department said they were called to an apartment complex in Vienna after a person was concerned about a "smell of decomposition".

'Decomposing smell': Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

This week, the Viennese police department started a weekly ‘series’ of sharing interesting stories on their social media accounts

Calling the series ‘Misunderstanding Wednesday’ (Missverständnismittwoch), the very first post is about a call they received to an apartment complex after a concerned citizen complained to emergency services about a “smell of decomposition in the staircase”.

READ ALSO: Stephansdom: Vienna woken up after hacker sets church bells to ring at 2am

The alleged corpse, it turns out, was just the neighbour’s smelly shoes which were left in the building corridor, in front of their apartment.

The police didn’t say when exactly the incident took place.

“When our colleagues are called because of the ‘smell of decomposition in the staircase’… and notice that the stunk is from the neighbour’s shoes which were left in front of the apartment door”, the official Twitter account of the Vienna police department reads.

‘When in doubt it is an emergency’

The authorities were light-hearted about the misunderstanding, even sharing a “meme-like” picture on their social media accounts, saying “some missions turn out to be different than initially assumed”.

READ ALSO: Austrian police warn public about new ‘fake cops’ scam

However, they reiterated that the misunderstandings should not deter people from calling 133, the emergency police number. They added that in case of emergencies and even if you are not sure, the authorities should be called and they will assist you.

“Note: in case of doubt, it is an emergency”, the Vienna police department says. “Never be afraid to dial the emergency number.”

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