Police open doors for virtual tours

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For 10 days this summer Sussex Police is to open its doors to give people a unique insight into how the Force works.

People across the county will be invited into stations, be able to see behind the scenes during virtual tours and interact with us during live online broadcasts.

‘Sussex Police People: 10 days live’ will launch on July 25, when 100 young people age 11 to 16 will get hands-on experience trying out policing for themselves.

One hundred lucky competition finalists will visit the Kingstanding training site for the ‘Be the police for a day’ one-off event, where they’ll tour the underground nuclear bunker, use kit to investigate a car crash, deploy search dogs, forensically examine a crime scene and find out what it takes to be a police officer.

Chief Constable Martin Richards said: “Many people learn about policing from what they see on TV or read in the news.

“When people see protests with officers in all their protective gear it might look scary, particularly for young people who might not realise it’s to stop the officers getting hurt. What is seen in the media is a snap-shot, rather than the realities of policing.

“There’s far more to it than many people might realise, with huge amounts of work going on behind the scenes involving all sorts of specialist skills. Young people at the ‘Be the police for a day’ event will be able to see firsthand just what it takes to solve crime and keep people safe.

“People have a right to know what we do, to question us and share their ideas. Sussex Police People: 10 days live’ will give people the opportunity to do just that.”

The competition is now live for young people to enter. All they need to do is tell us what they would do if they were a police officer for a day. The best 100 entries, which can either be from individuals or from groups of up to five, will join us to ‘Be the police for a day’.

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, who will help decide the winning entries as part of a panel of judges, said: “I have pledged to uphold and develop the highest standards of transparency and openness and believe strongly that young people’s voices should be represented. This unique event will provide young people with an opportunity to understand many unseen aspects of modern policing.

“Our cadets will be playing a vital role guiding teams throughout the day and sharing their experience of the police-related activities they take part in. I hope they will inspire other young people to become volunteers.”

To have the chance to ‘Be the police for a day’, you must live in Sussex, be 11 to 16 and tell or show us what you would do if you were a police officer for a day. You can get creative any way you like - write a story or a poem, take a photo, design a poster, create an animation or short film - we’re looking for the most innovative and practical ideas from children of all abilities.

This is not the first time Sussex Police has used the latest technology to show people around the Force. The event builds on the success of the 24 hour live broadcast in October 2011, when over 80,000 people got involved in ‘Sussex Police People: Live’.

‘Sussex Police People’ gives a personal view of policing from our staff and officers. They regularly share their stories using their own pictures, videos and words, and are from a variety of places, often in a role people might not normally know about or see.

A full event plan for what is happening in your area will be published soon. To be the first to find out, log on and leave your details at: www.sussexpolicepeople.co.uk

All the entries for the 100 finalists will be posted on the website and you can help our panelists choose the winning competition entries by liking your favourites from Saturday 13 July, 2013. Four overall winners - a best group and best individual entry for the 11 to 13 and 14 to 16 categories - will be announced on the event day.