Campus Liaison Officer Kimberley Bradford had two of our students working alongside her last week (23-27 July) on work experience placements.
Here Kimberley lets us know how they got on!
What a week it’s been!
Last week I was extremely busy organising lots of different work experiences and visits for Prince’s Trust students Stephanie and Michelle.
Both girls have previously studied Uniformed Services at the College as they are interested in the Emergency Services, and so volunteered for work experience with me to find out a bit more about the police and what we do. Here’s a quick rundown of our week.
MONDAY 23 JULY
We started the week off with an early start to get up to the Police Scotland Mounted Branch to observe the horses and riders in training. We got to see the horses dealing with different hazards like loud noises, walking over large tarpaulins and through flags. The girls couldn’t believe how skilled the horses and riders were and loved meeting all the horses. They especially loved police horse Lewis who loves cuddles.
In the afternoon we visited the Police Scotland Dog Branch – the girls told me they were ‘absolutely buzzing’ to meet the police dogs! As soon as we arrived we were given a tour of all the kennels and outdoor training areas and then one of the dog handler trainers gave the girls a demonstration of his German Shepherd Oscar at work. He found a set of keys from a field and showed how obedient he was to command. We even got to see Oscar doing ‘bite training’ where he is trained to bring criminals to a stop by jumping and holding onto their arm if they are running away.
TUESDAY 24 JULY
Tuesday morning was spent in class at the Kilmarnock Campus. I taught the girls how to note down details as a police officer would do and what information the police would need from a witness and why. We also practised taking statements with college staff volunteering to be witnesses, allowing the girls to take details from them. The staff were very impressed, as was I, by Stephanie and Michelle. They were very professional and managed to remember all of the important details even though it was only their first time. I asked the girls to keep a ‘police style’ notebook for the remainder of the week with details and times of where they were and what they were doing.
On Tuesday afternoon, I took the girls to Kay Park in Kilmarnock where we did a police style fitness test that really put us all through our paces. They learned how important it is to have a good level of fitness within the police and how difficult it must be to run wearing heavy uniform. The girls are planning to keep their running going and will go together twice a week.
WEDNESDAY 25 JULY
On Wednesday we went to Kilmarnock Police Office. The girls were given a tour of the station, and an input on prisoner processing and a look at the custody suite. Safer Communities also gave them an input on their role within the local community as well as Counter Terrorism. Stephanie and Michelle even got to see some drugs that had been seized that day.
It was a lot of information for them both to take in and I really put them under pressure when I asked them to take some details from two officers from the police station. They coped really well though and remembered everything they had learned the previous day.
THURSDAY 26 JULY
This was a big day for Stephanie and Michelle. After me droning on all week to them about the importance of recording details, times and statements accurately, they got to see why it was so important when it comes to going to court. We went to Ayr Sheriff Court and were shown around by the Court Officers and then got to watch a full trial from start to finish. The girls were surprised at the level of detail the Sheriff, Fiscal and Defence discussed and realised why it’s so important to get all the information correct from first contact with a witness, victim or accused, as even the smallest details can be relevant as evidence.
FRIDAY 27 JULY
On our last day we met in the Kilwinning Campus for an input on the Police Scotland Recruitment Process. I went through all the information that the girls would need to know and research before applying for the police. Michelle and Stephanie told me that they were even more motivated now than ever to join the police in the future and that they hadn’t wanted their week to end. I must say it has been a privilege getting to spend time with such motivated, enthusiastic and hard-working girls this week, and if you ask me they will be just what Police Scotland are looking for in a couple of years. They just need to build up their confidence as they have all the right skills and definitely the right attitude!
Here’s what Michelle and Stephanie said about their week with me:
“Before commencing work placement I thought that all police officers were serious and strict, when in reality they’re not. When we attended Kilmarnock Police Office we actually had a good laugh with the officers, it was brilliant. This week has given me an insight into what it’s like being a police officer – it’s an extremely rewarding job but also very challenging.”
“This week has been such an eye opener and a great insight into the police. I enjoyed the court as I have never seen a trial take place and it was interesting to see how it all came together. What surprised me the most is how normal the police are, everyone thinks they are always serious but they are full of the banter. The whole week has been amazing, and it has made me even keener to join the police.”
If you’re interested in a career in the uniformed or emergency services, such as the Police, Fire or Ambulance Service, the Armed Forces or Prison Service, our Uniformed Services course is a great place to start.