Students who have gained vital experience working with the county’s police force have celebrated their achievements.
The 11 interns, who joined Bedfordshire Police as part of the force’s ten-week Summer Internship Programme, received certificates at a ceremony to mark the end of their placements and their contribution to the force over the past 10 weeks.
The interns presented their work to colleagues, friends and family and senior officers at a celebration day on Thursday, September 1, at police headquarters, before being presented with certificates by Superintendent Paul Schoon, force lead for volunteers, and Deputy Chief Constable Mark Collins.
The paid Summer Internship Programme was started in 2014 and has expanded to give 11 students the opportunity this year.
More than 100 university students from across the country – either in their second or third year, or recent graduates - applied for this year’s scheme, and 30 were invited to interview. Eleven students, five from Bedfordshire, were successful and started their placements at the beginning of June.
This year they worked in departments including the public protection unit, cyber crime, community policing, hate crime, community cohesion team and the volunteering unit on projects including restorative justice, victim satisfaction, performance reviews and community engagement.
Supt Schoon said: “The Summer Internship Scheme is vital and allows us to engage with young people who can bring new perspectives to the force. This year proved to be another success, and the young people who joined us were able to gain new skills and explore the possibility of building a career in policing.
“We are leading the way in this area; other forces have asked us about our model, which shows the quality of the programme we have designed. Our interns work to a framework, which we have spent a lot of time developing in collaboration with several universities, so when they leave they can demonstrate their achievements, in turn making them more employable.
“Several have told us they enjoyed their time with us so much that they want to come back as volunteers or special constables, and we look forward to welcoming them back.”