Leamington teens take over policing duties

Adam Charczun, Japneet Hayer, Rebecca Beard, and Meredith Young taking part in Warwickshire Police's Takeover Day. NNL-161121-162558001

Adam Charczun, Japneet Hayer, Rebecca Beard, and Meredith Young taking part in Warwickshire Police's Takeover Day. NNL-161121-162558001

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Speeding motorists were cautioned by Leamington school pupils as they took over policing roles for a day.

The youngsters from Myton School and Campion School took part in the Warwickshire Police Takeover Challenge, part of a nationwide event.

Some of the pupils spent the day in the police communications centre to see how the staff deal with calls. They also took part in a training exercise, taking over as radio controllers to direct resources to mock incidents.

Pupils also took to the streets with speed guns to check cars driving around Leamington - and several motorists were stopped by the accompanying police officers. Those motorists who were found to be slightly exceeding the speed limit - and who would have been subjected to an advisory talk by police - were instead spoken to directly by the young people.

In Leamington town centre, the youngsters conducted a foot patrol and spoke to members of the public and some homeless people.

Youth engagement officer, Pc Darren Lund, said the 19 pupils who took part in the day enjoyed the challenge of taking on adult roles.

He said: “They took on the roles with enthusiasm and skill and hopefully learnt a lot about the day-to-day challenges we face in policing. We had great some great feedback and lots of positve comments from the students.”

The Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge involves thousands of young people across England who spend time with businesses and organisations to gain an insight into the adult world.

The project has been so successful in the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police area that previous participants have gone on to join as cadets.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell said: “The Takeover Challenge gives us the opportunity to have feedback from young people about our work and to even gain insights into where we might need to review our processes.

“It is an excellent day that creates some real energy and fun. The children involved make us think again about things from their perspective.

“It also gives officers and staff a chance to communicate messages to young people in a way that is fun and engaging.”