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College takes on the Met's trainees

The Metropolitan Police has for the first time in its history involved a further education college in training its student officers.

This week, 16 of its trainees began studying at Havering college in Essex.

Its would-be officers previously spent 18 weeks at the police training college in Hendon, north London, before completing their initial training in the workplace. Now, batches of trainees will be transferred to Havering's Ardleigh Green campus in Hornchurch after spending five weeks at Hendon.

The scheme is designed to modernise and improve the foundation training programme given to new recruits.

Noel Otley, Havering's principal, said: "We are delighted to be involved and believe the college will gain a wealth of benefits.

"The course will not only bring the officers greater knowledge of the community they will police, but also give our young people an opportunity to get a better understanding of the police service."

Sergeant Trevor Valentine, from the Met's modernisation project team, also praised the programme.

He said: "Student police officers will gain a better understanding of youth culture with day-to-day interaction with young people at a very early stage in their careers.

"Involving non-police students in role-plays and training scenarios will also give young people a unique opportunity to learn with the police students."

Solihull college in Birmingham is also celebrating an achievement in its work with the police.

The college launched an access to the police course last September and has now produced its first recruit.

The course focuses on helping students to get through the competitive application process to become a police officer.

Trainee Adam Shakespeare completed the part-time course in February and will become a police constable with the West Midlands police force during the next few weeks.

Steve Whitehead, police access co-ordinator at Solihull, said: "Very few 19-year-olds make it through the police assessment process successfully, so this is a fantastic achievement for Adam."

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