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Lockdown sees UEA campus used to train 80 new police officers

PUBLISHED: 13:38 12 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:38 12 August 2020

Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey with a group of new officer recruits. Picture: UEA

Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey with a group of new officer recruits. Picture: UEA

Archant

Its campus is more used to hosting lessons on physics and politics than policing – but during the coronavirus lockdown, Norfolk’s officers have been training at the University of East Anglia.

Trainee officers socially distancing inside the Julian Study Centre lecture theatre. Picture: UEATrainee officers socially distancing inside the Julian Study Centre lecture theatre. Picture: UEA

Social distancing measures meant the Norfolk Constabulary regular training site at force headquarters at Wymondham was full.

Meanwhile with student teaching and assessment having moved online, the UEA’s campus had space in many of its buildings could be put to other uses including training new police recruits.

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The collaboration began in early April and will continue up until September, by which time close to 1,000 hours of teaching of the new recruits will have been completed on the campus in Norwich.

Paul Sanford, Norfolk's deputy chief constable. PIC: Supplied by Norfolk Police.Paul Sanford, Norfolk's deputy chief constable. PIC: Supplied by Norfolk Police.

In total, more than 80 new recruits have so far successfully passed through the UEA campus and on to local police stations.

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Norfolk deputy chief constable, Paul Sanford, said: “Use of the campus has enabled our programmes to increase police officer numbers in Norfolk to continue putting extra officers out on the streets at this most crucial of times.”

Trainee police officers on Chancellor’s Drive on the UEA campus in Norwich. Picture: UEATrainee police officers on Chancellor’s Drive on the UEA campus in Norwich. Picture: UEA

UEA vice-chancellor Professor David Richardson said: “I’m proud that we are able to support Norfolk Police, who we have always maintained a good relationship with, and I would like to thank all the staff who have helped to make this happen.”

The agreement saw police use the UEA lecture theatre, seminar rooms and foyer area of the four-storey Julian Study Centre building.

UEA’s security and cleaning staff ensured the buildings remained clean on a daily basis to reduce the risk of coronavirus, and even assisted with role-playing by playing civilians in training exercises.

Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner, Lorne Green, said: “I am delighted to hear more than 80 new police recruits are now out and about patrolling their local communities thanks to the UEA offering crucial training facilities at such a vital time.”

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A £3.35m new training centre for Norfolk’s next generation of police recruits is set to open in the near future at the Grade II listed Hethersett Old Hall.

Head of operational training, Chief Inspector Keith Philpot, said: “These experiences have been invaluable in helping police trainers understand a new approach to its training delivery and ensure that the designs and considerations for Hethersett Old Hall, reflect the lessons we have learned.”


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