People in South Warwickshire are being offered an exciting opportunity to learn about and experience the day-to-day workings of their local police force, as part of a new Citizens' Academy. The programme will provide a unique insight into Warwickshire Police’s work to protect people from harm and improve the quality of life for residents.
Members of the public over the age of 18 can enrol in the ten-week Citizens' Academy programme, to be held at Leamington Spa Justice Centre from Wednesday, 23rd September 2015. Police officers, police staff and supporting agencies/organisations will deliver presentations on key topics every Wednesday evening, from 6.30pm-8.30pm.
The course will cover a range of policing functions/roles including crime prevention and detection, recording crimes and incidents, road safety, forensic investigation, police use of firearms, internet safety, and the role of Safer Neighbourhood Teams as well as other key departments. Participants will also be encouraged to request subjects of specific interest to them to ensure they get the best possible benefit from the time they invest.
The aim is to open up communication between the community and the police, inform the public about police procedures, reduce the fear of crime and increase people's awareness of personal safety.
Those who complete the programme will graduate from the Citizens' Academy and take part in a formal ceremony. It is hoped that graduates will share their experiences and knowledge with the wider South Warwickshire community, or become special constables or volunteers with the police or other agencies.
Last year an introductory academy took place in Rugby, which resulted in a well-attended graduation ceremony in December 2014. The academy was a resounding success and created a sense of enthusiasm and commitment among the 25 students that surprised the police officers and staff involved.
In light of this Warwickshire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire agreed to develop further Citizens' Academies for the autumn of 2015, providing funding to ensure that the participants need only bring their time and commitment.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball said: "The first Citizens’ Academy was a great success and showed how valuable the programme can be not only for the police but also for the people who take part. I was keen to support further academies in Warwickshire, so I am delighted that the South Warwickshire programme is now taking applications.”
Chief Inspector Andy Nolan from Warwickshire Police added: “I am extremely proud to be announcing the launch of South Warwickshire's Citizens' Academy programme. This is a unique programme which allows the communities we serve to understand and experience how we deliver policing, and protect our communities from harm.
“I would really like to encourage the public to apply as I believe the programme has a great deal to offer and is a great opportunity for our communities to learn in supportive and welcoming environment. I believe that we can also learn a great deal from our communities, so please step forward, join the academy and become a driver for positive change.”
South Warwickshire residents aged at least 18 who want to be part of this exciting new venture can find out more information and register their interest on the Warwickshire Police website or email WarksSouth.CitizensAcademy@warwickshire.pnn.police.uk
Criteria will be applied to the selection process and successful applicants will be subject to security checks. The final date for applications to be received is Monday August 3, 2015.
Those interested in policing across South Warwickshire can also follow updates from their official Twitter account, @SWarksCops.