Sheriff Driven to Distraction over 'Lawless' Migrants

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAHAM GRANT

A SHERIFF yesterday voiced alarm over the growing number of immigrant drivers flouting the law on Scotland's roads.

George Evans said he was tired of dealing with Polish and other immigrants falling foul of Scots law.

He called on police to give immigrants more information about rules and regulations in an effort to curb the problem.

His comments are another illustration of the pressures faced by the legal system and public services north of the Border caused by a flood of Eastern European immigrants.

The sheriff made the remarks at Cupar Sheriff Court in Fife after Tomasz Wasilewski, 33, was convicted of drink-driving and driving without insurance in Leslie, Fife, last year.

Sheriff Evans said: 'It strikes me it might be useful for police to address Polish workers and other foreign workers with an interpreter to explain the laws in this country. We keep getting these workers in court.' He banned Polish factory worker Wasilewski from driving for 12 months and fined him [pounds sterling]450 after he admitted the offences.

But the sheriff ' s comments sparked a backlash from police who said it was unfair to blame them for immigrants' ignorance of the law.

Bosses of the agricultural produce factory which employs Wasilewski - Kettle Produce, in Kingskettle, Fife - also claimed they should not be made a scapegoat.

A spokesman said: 'We were not aware the police offered such a service and we have not had any contact with the local police in relation to training foreign nationals we employ on the road traffic laws in Scotland.

'Only a small proportion of our workforce are foreign nationals and we are one of a number of employers who employ foreign, seasonal workers.' Officers at Fife Constabulary claim they already have several events planned which are designed to educate immigrant workers about UK law. …