Citizens Academy launched in Weston to give people a better insight into policing
PUBLISHED: 18:25 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:55 01 May 2019
People in Weston are being encouraged to join a scheme which allows them to learn more about the police force.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary will launch a Citizens Academy programme in the town which aims to teach the public about what work the police do and why they do it.
People can take part for free and attendees get the opportunity to see first-hand the daily workings of the police force.
The academies also cover topics of public interest such as anti-social behaviour and hate crime.
Sergeant Lee Kerslake said the academy will give people 'a better understanding' of the police's work in Weston.
He told the Mercury: “This scheme is ideal for people who like the idea of policing, they get to see lots of aspects and how different departments work, while those who are more critical should get a better understanding of what we do.
“A lot of complaints come from people not understanding the way we work in the town, but this scheme will give them a much clearer picture.
“We work closely with organisations such as Addaction and North Somerset Council to improve Weston and have put crime orders in place on people who deal drugs and cause anti-social behaviour problems.
“We have had some good targeted interventions with people removed from the streets and into homes and employment, we have found when people decide to take the advice given to them, it has changed their lives.”
Academies are held in community hubs over eight weeks and are open to over-17s.
People are asked to commit to attending a two-hour session each week and, at the final session, are presented with a certificate.
Each session focuses on a different aspect of policing, from front line policing to the work of more specialist departments such as forensics.
A Q&A session with police and crime commissioner Sue Mounstevens and chief constable Andy Marsh will also take place.
Applications for the Weston's Citizens Academy will close on May 10 at 5pm.
To apply, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org