East meets East

Lithuanian police commander comes to Newham to share his expertise with local officers.

A POLICE commander from Eastern Europe has visited Newham to help combat crime within the Lithuanian community.

Newham has the largest Lithuanian community in London, with many living in the Beckton area.

Mindaugas Petrauskas met with Newham police officers to discuss developing a “joint investigative team” and consulted with Lithuanian residents about ways of addressing crime and improving community relations.

Det Insp John Cushion said: “We are making every effort to integrate with the Lithuanian community and have already made significant progress in building trust and relationships.”

He added that the community was being targeted for extra attention as it was affected by and involved in a disproportionately high amount of crime in the borough, much of which was alcohol-related.

An Alcoholics Anonymous scheme has been set up by police in the community in a bid to address the problem.

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During his visit, Mr Petrauskas shared his wealth of experience of policing in Lithuania and Europe with Newham officers.

The police commander is currently serving as the lead Lithuanian liaison officer at Europol, the European law enforcement agency which combats terrorism, unlawful drug trafficking and other serious forms of organised crime.