Portsmouth students get behind-the-scenes look at police station

(LtoR back row) PCSO Jim Elgar, Miltoncross School pupil Kayleigh Wilson with Portsmouth Academy for Girls pupils Mollie Robinson, Maesha Uddin, Leah Casey and Saraya Jeffery. (in front) PC Darren Coupland from the dog unit.  Picture: Ellie Pilmoor.
(LtoR back row) PCSO Jim Elgar, Miltoncross School pupil Kayleigh Wilson with Portsmouth Academy for Girls pupils Mollie Robinson, Maesha Uddin, Leah Casey and Saraya Jeffery. (in front) PC Darren Coupland from the dog unit. Picture: Ellie Pilmoor.
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PUPILS were given an insight into how a police station operates by acting out scenarios from 101 calls and learning about stop searches.

Portsmouth Central police station welcomed the students from Portsmouth Academy for Girls and Miltoncross as part of the children’s commissioner’s Takeover Challenge.

I always wanted to be a police officer so it was really good to see what it was like.

Maesha Uddin

It gives young people the opportunity to try different job roles where they have to make decisions and learn about responsibilities.

As part of the day the group had to respond to fake 101 calls, take details about the incidents and decide how they would deal with it.

They used a radio to dispatch officers and PCSOs learning about the resources Hampshire Constabulary has available on a daily basis.

Maesha Uddin, 15, from Portsmouth Academy for Girls, said: ‘It was really weird at first answering the phones but I did enjoy it.

‘It was hard answering the radio in front of the group at first but it got easier. I always wanted to be a police officer so it was really good to see what it was like.’

The students got to see how the police dog unit works as part of the 101 calls with PC Darren Coupland showing them an attack dog and one they use to find possible explosives.

Portsmouth Academy for Girls student Mollie Robinson, 14, said: ‘I found the whole day really interesting, especially the 101 calls and seeing the dog unit.

‘It was quite difficult listening to the calls and having to speak on the radio as well. It does show how much the officers have to do.’

Kayleigh Wilson, a Year 9 student from Miltoncross, added: ‘It was a fun day. Answering the 101 calls was really good although it is quite scary knowing what police officers have to deal with.’

PCSO Jim Elgar led the day which had a focus on hate crime with the students creating posters to raise awareness.

He said: ‘We took part in the Takeover Challenge last year and it worked well.

‘The students learnt about the everyday things that happen at a police station from handling calls to reacting to incidents.

‘We also looked at stop searches and wanted to dispel any myths about what officer can and cannot do.’