A GROUP of Herefordshire students have been give the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of policing in the county, thanks to an initiative by West Mercia.

Citizen Academy is a six-week course aimed at teaching young adults about all aspects of the police force and to help them learn how to engage with officers.

Students from Herefordshire and Ludlow College will learn about various areas of law enforcement, including forensics, counter terrorism, county lines, and dog handling.

They will also have the opportunity to see some practical demonstrations and real life situations, to give them a unique insight into life in the force.

Superintendent Edd Williams spoke at the launch of the programme and said: "We want the next generation of young adults growing up feeling that they can interact with us, and to know that we are here if and when they need us.

"We see all the highs and lows of what life brings as part of our job, but helping people is at the heart of everything we do."


Student Seb Kardynal, 17, spoke of what a great opportunity this was.

He said: "It's a fantastic project and something really useful to put on my CV.

"Courses like this are great to help break down barriers between our generation and the police and I'm really looking forward to learning more."

Alisha Aspley, 17, is looking at learning about one area of policing in particular.

She said: "It looks like it's going to be really interesting, learning about what is an incredibly responsible job.

"I am hoping to find out some new things along the way and I am particularly looking forward to learning about forensics."

Bethany Oakley, 19, completed the course last year and persuaded a few of her friends to join this year.

She said: "I'm on my second year of this course and last year was fantastic and taught me so much.

"You see a side to the police that you never even thought about before and it really helps knowing that they are just like us, and they just want to help people."