Hands up! Police officers trade places with Upminster pupils and go back to school
- Credit: Archant
Studious police officers swapped their truncheons for text books when they traded places with school pupils for a day.
In scenes straight out of a Hollywood film, four of Cranham’s Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) switched with two eager students of Hall Mead school in Marlborough Gardens, Upminster.
The aim was to build relations with the area’s youngsters, while allowing them to get a taste of the work the police do.
Though they didn’t opt for the tie and blazer combo, the officers covered almost the whole curriculum in what was their turn to put their hands up.
PC Jo Wilson said: “It was interesting – I haven’t been at school for 10 years!
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“The kids were unsure at first, it is a bit daunting, but I was surprised how grown up they were. Compared to when I was at school, they were very level headed.”
PC Wilson believes the day was a success, and has helped to build bridges.
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“Year’s 10 and 11 were the most sceptical but towards the end of the day we were having a laugh. They realised we were human and not just these people you can’t approach.”
PC Wilson even got through her “worst nightmare”, or maths as it is more commonly known, but was top of the class when it came to law lessons.
Meanwhile, Year 11 pupil Georgia Smith and Tommy Fanning, of Year 9, were enjoying spending time at Romford police station.
“The whole day was an amazing experience,” said Georgia. “It gave me a much better insight into the complexities of the police working environment. I enjoyed every minute.”
Deputy head Tina Parsons agreed to the idea after being approached by the local police.
“We provided the student experience,” she explained. “I made sure they did everything like maths and English, as well as other subjects.
“The students were all really keen. They engaged in conversation easily. It was about building a stronger relationship with young people so they can see police are human’s too behind the uniform.
“I said to staff if they misbehave give them a detention.”