Northumberland College has agreed a unique partnership with Northumbria Police which will increase students’ awareness of personal safety and encourage good community relations.
The three-year strategic partnership, which will see a dedicated Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) located at Ashington and Kirkley Hall campuses, aims to create a safer environment within the college and its surrounding areas.
The PCSO will be an integral part of the Student Services team and will support with student-led community improvement projects as well as offering advice and guidance on ways students and staff can keep themselves safe. They will also host drop-in sessions and workshops to raise awareness of issues such as knife crime and anti-social behaviour in line with local and national campaigns.
Vikkie Morton, Vice Principal of Student Services and Registry, said ‘This exciting new partnership with Northumbria Police demonstrates our commitment to keeping our students safe, promoting the prevention of crime and working towards a shared vision. We value our strong collaborative partnerships with key employers and the local community that contribute positively to the town and region. The partnership will build a positive relationship between the police and our young people and, by engaging with the PCSO in the normal study environment, we hope students will see the human face of the police and feel more comfortable approaching them inside and outside of college.’
Northumberland College will also draw on Northumbria Police’s expertise to enhance its existing curriculum through guest speakers and workplace visits, ensuring skills are developed to meet industry needs, both regionally and nationally, and develop tailored and bespoke pathways into the public and uniformed services for students.
Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable, Winton Keenen, said ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with young people in an environment which they probably feel more relaxed to talk to us. As well as delivering very important education, advice and guidance I hope the introduction of a dedicated Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) at the campus will help shape the interactions young people have with the police.’
For more information about Northumberland College visit www.northumberland.ac.uk
In the photograph (L to R) Vikkie Morton, Vice Principal of Student Services and Registry; Superintendent Andy Huddleston; PCSO Lisa Waugh; Chief Constable Winton Keenan; Ellen Thinnesen, Education Partnership North East Chief Executive; and Iain Nixon, Vice Principal of Partnerships and Commercial, launch the new partnership at Ashington Campus.