American students given unique behind the scenes insight into UK policing

A group of students from an American university have been spending time with officers on patrol – and watched as they arrested and dealt with a man carrying a knife.

Jun 6, 2024
By Website Editor

The ten students, who are studying a combination of forensic science and criminology undergraduate courses at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia went out with officers as part of our public observation scheme.

Within minutes of the students jumping into the van, officers spotted a man who appeared to be acting suspiciously outside a bus stop.

Officers carried out a stop and search in Mansfield Road and recovered a weapon. The 57-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of carrying a bladed weapon.

Sergeant Jonathan Pothecary and PC Logan Grieh then explained to the students why the officers had grounds to stop and search the suspect, what the alleged offence was, and how the process works once an individual has been arrested and is taken into custody.

The students were also shown the tubes used to forensically seal evidence and were given an explanation about why this is important.

The students were then shown around the Nottingham custody suite at Radford Road, including the medical room and the juvenile and vulnerable adults wing where they learnt about the diversionary support people are given after arriving at custody.

Both officers gave the students a tour around the voluntary interview rooms in Byron House and explained how this process works when someone is questioned on suspicion of committing an offence.

Students also witnessed officers being called to reports of someone stealing a till in the city centre and a concern for safety report.

This activity is part of the force’s ongoing public observation scheme where members of the public shadow officers for the day.

The students spent two days with Nottinghamshire Police. On the second day on May 31, they split into groups and went out with the city and Broxtowe neighbourhood policing teams. They also spent some time with officers from response.

They learnt how officers respond to emergency situations, proactively make arrests and deal with any issues that they may encounter during their shift. Some of the students in the group have shown an interest in becoming police officers in the future.

Psychology student Maya Bronipolsky said: “It was fun to see the hands-on side of policing and to see everything happen right in front of my eyes and learn about the different steps that officers have to take.”

Kaitlyn Paredes, a criminology student, said: “Riding in a van with the lights on and stopping someone and seeing the process was awesome and I really liked that experience.

“It was good to see the differences between the custody suites in America and the UK and I enjoyed learning about the different support people are given when they come into custody.

Sergeant Jonathan Pothecary, from the city centre neighbourhood policing team said: “I really enjoyed giving the American students an insight into a day in the life of a police officer working in Nottingham city centre.

“It was good to have the students immersed in the action alongside us as we patrolled the city and having them with us for a good amount of time allowed me to show them the full process of spotting an issue, to arrest and bringing the suspect into custody.”

Sergeant Kerry Hall who works in Nottinghamshire Police’s Prevention Hub, explained the importance of the unique scheme. She said: “It’s great to have students from George Mason University come to learn more about Nottinghamshire Police and take part in our public observation scheme to see how our officers support the communities we serve.

“We have had great feedback from the students that came on the trip and they said that they found the experience insightful and enjoyed being immersed in the action.

“The public observation scheme is a vital way for us to be transparent and build trust and confidence in the police and we look forward to continuing with this initiative in the future.”

Related News

Copyright © 2024 Police Professional