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Policing students take part in live operation

Solihull College & University Centre’s HND Policing students are getting a front row experience in witnessing live policing operations.

Recently retired West Midlands Police (WMP) Sergeants Chris Thomas and Richard Agar, now Policing lecturers at the College, are bringing unique opportunities to their students with their wealth of experience and strong links to the force. Most recently, they arranged for students to spend a day at a real-life live multi-agency operation.

The high-risk operation involved WMP, West Midlands Fire Service, DVLA, DVSA, National Crime Agency, and Motor Insurers’ Bureau. A designated vehicles examiners team and specifically trained officers delivered spot checks on a range of cars and lorries. The Policing students saw first-hand how the police interact with other agencies and the public.

Lecturer Chris Thomas explains: “This multi-agency operation was not a test procedure; it was a serious criminal matter where someone was genuinely arrested and three HGVs were seized. Our students are constantly gaining enriched experiences such as these that are not offered at other colleges or universities.”

Following the operation, West Midlands Fire Service Lead for Road Safety, Peter Allington, demonstrated the consequences of bad driving through VR. Students were then delivered a presentation by DVLA.

Student Dylan Norris shares: “To see how the police operate day to day brings the classroom learning to life and you won’t get that anywhere else. We got a behind the scenes look into how these multiple agencies work together to keep our roads safe.”

Student Rep Meg Burton adds: “It gives you an insight and makes you excited to start the job. You learn not just about the role of the police force but also all the other agencies involved and whether that’s the route you want to pursue your career.”

In March, students also visited West Midlands Regional Operations Centre in Quinton where they saw the control room and had the chance to speak to traffic officers and operational staff. Sergeant Lonsdale delivered a talk to students on tactical firearms deployment and the procedure of dealing with sensitive and high-risk incidents.

Student Iesa Majeed was particularly impressed with this trip: “It blew my mind, and I was mesmerised by the experience of seeing all the police units and cameras and screens. The realisation set in of how real it all is and how it operates behind the scenes.”

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