Sunderland University students become new form of police volunteers

A team of students are leaving the classroom behind to help protect the public – by becoming the first police volunteers of their kind.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 10:55 am
Student volunteers are being put through their paces by officers at Northumbria Police.

The trailblazers from the University of Sunderland will work alongside Northumbria Police’s neighbourhood and community engagement teams as part of a unique collaboration.

The opportunity will see students working alongside officers in a range of areas behind the frontline, including assisting educational inputs in schools and the community, supporting the Force’s campaigns and helping to design and deliver new training packages.

More than 150 students looking to gain experience in four key areas – research and CCTV, education and marketing, technology and data analysis, and health and sports sciences – initially registered their interest in becoming police volunteers which was slimmed down to 27 volunteers.

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They will enhance their skills and support community policing in Sunderland and South Tyneside as part of the exciting initiative.

Chief Inspector Sam Rennison, of Northumbria Police, said: “We are now looking forward to our trailblazers starting their roles in the coming weeks, and I have no doubt that the skills and knowledge they will bring will prove invaluable to our ongoing work across Sunderland and South Tyneside.

“Our various volunteers across the Force – from our Special Constables to Cadets and Mini Police – all have been and continue to be a valuable asset in supporting operational policing and help us to engage with the wider community in a number of ways.

“We are convinced that this exciting new partnership with the University of Sunderland will be equally as rewarding for the students involved, the Force as a whole and the communities we serve.”

The students are set to take up their various roles within the next few weeks.

Sue Mulley, head of careers and employability at Sunderland Futures, said “Policing and criminal justice offer a huge variety of career opportunities for our students and graduates in lots of different areas outside the traditional role of a police officer.”

“The interest we’ve had from students in this volunteering opportunity at our Student Opportunities Fair and ‘Spotlight On…’ events shows there is a genuine interest among our students to give something back to their community through policing.”