Drama students from Sussex Downs College have been helping to train police investigators to interview young witnesses.
For the past four years, students from the college’s performing arts programme are invited to police HQ at Lewes 10 times every year to take part in interview training for investigators.
As part of the training the students are shown a video and given a role to master, before playing the part of young witnesses or victims of crime as the officers probe them for clues.
Specialist training supervisor Detective Sergeant Paul Haywood said: “The training of interviewers is very intensive and the work with students allows them to practise their technical skills in obtaining evidence in a realistic situation.
Inspector Nathan Evans added: “We’ve been so impressed with the students we’ve worked with. They are questioned in fine detail and have to be very resourceful to keep to their brief.
“We really value their help at a time when we’re trying to ensure that we provide a better service to young people and their families.
“It’s a win-win for both parties - our trainees profit from working with the young people, and they get experience of performing in a professional environment. Long may it continue.”
Students from the school have also expressed their enthusiasm for the project, including 17-year-old Katy de Lucia from Barcombe. She said: “It’s good to have the opportunity to improvise and is a valuable experience for us.”
Hani Sadat, 18, from Eastbourne agreed. She said: “It’s very realistic and we’ve had to work hard to memorise information and play our parts in the process.”
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