THE classroom was swapped for the custody suite when teenagers took over police stations for the day.
Young people sat down with inspectors at a debrief meeting and got an insight into crimes that occurred overnight in Waterlooville and Portsmouth.
And they hit the streets to join PCSOs on patrol and find out what issues matter most to the general public.
The initiative, at Waterlooville and Fratton police stations, was part of Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day 2014, a national event led by the Children’s Commissioner for England which gives young people the chance to shadow jobs.
Two pupils from five secondary schools – Cowplain, Crookhorn, Horndean, Oaklands and Purbrook Park – spent the day at Waterlooville.
Pupils from Portsmouth High School, Mayfield and Admiral Lord Nelson went to Fratton.
Feedback from the teenagers will be used to help direct police priorities.
Ben Trimby, 15, from Cowplain, said: ‘We have been talking to the public about what they think the police should do.
‘We have had a look round the police station and went on patrol with PCSOs.
‘It’s really interesting seeing what life is like for a police officer or PCSO. I think they should be focusing on anti-social behaviour as it’s a big problem at the moment and burglaries as well.’
Olivia Ponsford, 16, from Oaklands, said speeding along Stakes Hill Road had been one of the issues raised by the public.
‘We have seen the different departments,’ she said.
‘We went to a debrief where we sat down with the inspector and got an insight into crime in the area.’
Inspector Dave Humphries, from Waterlooville, said: ‘They have come in and looked at all the crime that’s occurred in Waterlooville overnight in the same way as we do.
‘We have talked to them about our approach and given them the opportunity to say how they think we should be deploying our investigative and neighbourhood resources.’
Inspector Darren Ali, from Fratton, said: ‘This type of interaction is really important for us and the young people involved.’