What were police officers doing out in Dereham on Tuesday?
PUBLISHED: 13:08 09 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:15 09 January 2018
Trainee police officers were out in force in Dereham on Tuesday, as they put their training into practice in role plays with students from a nearby college.
Sixteen trainees from the Norfolk police HQ in Wymondham took part in the pilot training exercise on January 9, which was intended to show them the realities of community policing.
And they were helped by a group of uniformed public services students from Easton and Otley College, who took on the roles of the young offenders.
Chief Inspector Paul Wheatley, who attended the exercise, said: “It’s great to see the trainees out today. The more fluorescent jackets in Dereham the better.”
The exercise consisted of six scenarios, including a shoplifting, a stop and search, and the delivery of an ‘agony message’ - giving the news of a death to a family.
Trainees PC Steve Long and PC Robert Haigh took part in a drink and drive scenario at Dereham railway station.
PC Haigh said: “We’re given a rough idea of what to expect on the exercise.”
And trainer Holly Ireson said: “We have four different zones set up with various exercises throughout.
“It takes our trainees two years to complete their training to be a police officer.”
Zoe Groves, a member of staff from Easton and Otley College, said: “It’s great for our students to be involved with these training exercises, as many of them will go on to work in the police, or other uniformed services.
“Our students also take part in the firearms exercises, and lots of them are keen to study for degrees and become officers themselves.”
Alicia Fairweather, 16, took part in a shoplifting scenario at Dereham Morrisons.
She said: “They stopped and questioned us and searched my bag. Then they ‘arrested’ me as I’d stolen a camera from the shop.
“It was good to see what their training is like, as I want to be a police officer in the future.”
Officers also manned a stand in the Market Place, with talks on stranger danger and personal safety delivered by officers to a rapt audience from Dereham Church Infant School.
And reception, Year 1, and Year 2 pupils also took turns sitting in the drivers seat of a police car.
The trainee officers are seven weeks into their ten weeks of initial training, which will be followed by a period out on the streets with a tutor constable.