Force aims to inspire young people into policing career
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Leicester College transformed part of its campus into a police precinct for the day to show students what it takes to be a cop.
The potential sleuths were asked to crack codes, beat the clock, master the memory test and ace the phonetic alphabet in a bid to inspire them to consider a career in policing.
It’s hoped the fun and interactive exhibition at Abbey Park campus, which has been developed by the force alongside staff at the St Philip’s Centre in the city, would provide young people with an insight into law enforcement - from front line officers to those in specialist and support roles.
In addition, it aimed to break down barriers, particularly for those who may not have considered a career with the police before.
The exhibition coincided with a national police recruitment campaign which aims to expand the number of officers by 20,000 over the next few years. Leicestershire is looking to recruit at least 600 new officers between now and 2024.
Simon Cole, Chief Constable for Leicestershire Police, said: “Policing is such a rewarding career and there are so many options to specialise in once you are here.
“We hope to dispel a few myths about policing and show people exactly what our force can offer them and what skills they need to develop to be part of our family.
“There are so many different routes to take into policing now and we are looking to increase our numbers by hundreds over the next few years.
“We also want to make sure that our force is reflective of the communities we serve and so we hope that people of all ages and backgrounds will consider us. This exhibition is just one of the ways we can show others what we’re all about.”
The interactive exhibition was officially opened by Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach and Deputy Chief Constable Rob Nixon this morning.
Lord Bach said: “This event presents an enjoyable opportunity for people to learn more about what it means to be a police officer.
“Policing is a great career, offering a breadth of opportunity and support and this latest round of recruitment will enable us to have a workforce that is more representative of the communities it serves. I urge people from all backgrounds to consider applying. It could be the job you’ve been waiting for.”
The exhibition has been developed as part of a wider European project entitled ‘Cops, Communities and Consent’ to foster greater understanding and involvement between different faiths and cultures both at home and abroad.
The project is funded by the Open Society Foundation which works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies. It has also seen officers share and develop learning with European colleagues.
As well as the interactive exhibition, road safety officers were at the college to talk to students about safety and new driver rules.
Riaz Ravat, deputy director of the St Philip’s Centre, said: “Public trust and confidence in our public institutions is a vital ingredient in a healthy, liberal democratic society. This project has opened doors of communication between communities and the Police – many for the first time. The Police exhibition provides a captivating insight into various roles within the service as well as to impart vital crime and safety messages to young people.”
Sharen Ravat, from the student engagement team at Leicester College, added: “It’s very important for our students to see all the career opportunities available to them. We have worked closely with Leicestershire Police on a number of projects over the last year and it is has been fantastic to launch this exhibition at Leicester College. It will not only be important to showcase recruitment opportunities to our uniformed public course students but also the wider student population.”