Youngsters from the West Somerset College, Minehead, spent the past week with one of the town’s police officers, PC Charlie Fitzpatrick.
The experienced a flavour of everyday working life for a police officer and for Police Community Support Officerse.
Activities included taking part in a police physical, learning how to use a police radio, learning about powers of arrest, and using a driving simulator.
The students also had sessions with a dog handler, the police helicopter, underwater search team, and even had an opportunity to don protective equipment used in public order situations.
They were able to put their new-found skills to the test when they posed as police officers in a series of scenarios, including asking other students what they would do in a missing person search and during a serious road traffic collision involving a cyclist.
The week ended with the students being presented with certificates for their work with the initiative, which also goes towards endeavour credits for their college courses.
PC Fitzpatrick said: “The week was a great success and a big insight into the role of police officers and PCSOs.
“It is important that young people see how we work in order to fully appreciate what the police are about and this week gave the students a very broad look at policing in West Somerset.
“We could also have been looking at police officers and PCSOs of the future, as recruitment to the constabulary was also explained.
“It is not often we are able to hold work experience weeks on this scale, but hopefully it is an eye opener for all involved.”
- Our photographs show (from top): Youngsters being given a 'hands on' experience of the police helicopter; Working with Sgt Mike Smalley, of the Road Policing Unit; Handling a serious road traffic collision involving a cyclist, with PSCO Les Lloyd. Photos submitted.