Culture shock

Saskatoon police help newcomers deal with new country’s ‘culture shock’

The Saskatoon Police Department hopes to ease the transition to the city for newcomers – which is even more important with a recent influx.

“There are so many refugee groups here. There are still Syrians who are relatively new to the country, Ukrainians who are arriving and newcomers in general who have come here as immigrants. It’s a culture shock for many of them and they need to learn what makes our society,” according to the staff sergeant. Patrick Barbar.

This is a unique event of its kind in Saskatoon. Newcomer Maryam Sasani is grateful for the knowledge she is gaining.

“Helping people like us get information about dangerous situations is good,” Sasani told CTV News.

These dangerous situations include fraud and scams.

“Even some of the common scams or bad guys are those pretending to be police or law enforcement events spoofing our caller ID numbers and threatening people to pay with bitcoins, gift cards or money,” said Sgt. Hal Lam from the economic crime unit said.

It’s an extra layer of protection for newcomers.

“Not knowing how the government works puts you at risk of believing a scammer, so it’s important they know the government won’t be calling you asking for a credit card,” Barbar says.

There was also information on bike safety and free helmets were given away, as well as details on SGI driver’s licenses.

Rules of conduct have also been covered, which Barbar says is a big adjustment for many, especially those with young children.

“Child seats – in so many countries around the world it’s a foreign concept, so we include the requirement for children to be in special seats when they’re in a motor vehicle and we even give child seats,” he said.

Event information for newcomers can also be found on the SPS website. Barbar says they will hold special sessions for larger groups upon request.