Lost in translation: Ireland's getaway driver

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The Independent Online

Irish police have solved the mystery of a Polish recidivist who clocked up 50 traffic offences on different addresses and who was never caught.

But the truth was revealed only after one officer spotted the translation of the name "Prawo Jazdy" from Polish.

An internal police memo cited by Irish papers today said officers taking details of Polish traffic offenders had been mistakenly using "Prawo Jazdy", printed in the top right corner of the driving licence, as the holder's name.

"Prawo Jazdy is actually the Polish for driving licence and not the first and surname on the licence," the police memo dated June 2007 said. "It is quite embarrassing to see the system has created Prawo Jazdy as a person with over 50 identities."

A police spokesman declined to comment on the reports.

About 200,000 Polish people flocked to Ireland during the boom years of its "Celtic Tiger" economy but a poll in November indicated a third of them planned to leave due to recession.

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