Setting the student scene for 'arresting' role play sessions

Published: 5 July 2006 at 14:08

A collaborative project initiated by Anglia Ruskin University and members of the Cambridgeshire public service sector will see students and public service trainees coming together to practice a series of role play sessions on campus.

The programme of events is starting with an ‘arrest’ role play session involving trainee service personnel from Cambridgeshire Police and students from various degree courses at the University. It will be played out in The Street ‘walkway’ of the University’s main Helmore Building and around the rest of the campus with the help of Public Service, Criminology, Law, Drama and English Language students who will be using the experience to help them with their studies.

The Cambridgeshire Police will be introducing some of their new recruits to real-life situations of arresting and recording the details of students, including foreign students. The six trainees, three men and three women, have never arrested anyone before. They have been training for six weeks so far and only two of these have been based in Cambridge. The three scenarios to be acted out include a bicycle theft, theft of a laptop and a stabbing. The three English Language students involved in the first role play include three Japanese students, and one student from Italy.

The initiative is new. The police have been planning such events for a few weeks and hope to conduct a similar exercise in a village and a shopping centre.  Security personnel from department stores are also involved in these training sessions and should be attending the University sessions as part of the project.

Other sessions planned will involve other members of the public sector workforce including representatives from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Commenting on the initiative, instigated by Emma Creighton, Senior Lecturer in Public Service degree studies, Colleen Moore, Deputy Head of Humanities & Social Sciences said:

"This roleplay training is helping Anglia Ruskin to forge even closer links with the county’s police and fire service personnel.  Cambridgeshire Police was looking to move its in-house training to an outside facility and Anglia Ruskin University, with its highly vocational public service, criminology and law courses, was seen to be the ideal location for these sessions."

"It will be interesting to see what happens when apparently ‘live’ policing situations are seen on campus. The students and trainee police can gauge the reactions of fellow students and see what actually happens when bystanders witness arrest incidents."

"This is a prime example of Anglia Ruskin delivering high quality, work-related teaching and learning programmes that have a clear link to employment."

PC Keith Wilson of the Initial Police Learning & Development Programme (IPLDP) team said:

"This programme is about bringing police training into the public arena and will allow 'Student Officers' to interact with genuine members of the public while dealing with realistic scenarios in a controlled environment. We are extremely thankful to Anglia Ruskin University for allowing us to use their campus area and students for this training day and hope that the student officers will gain maximum benefit from this in relation to their own development".