Budding journalists take part in police training

27 Apr 2016 11:29 AM

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Some of Northumbria Police's senior officers have been fine tuning their media skills - thanks to a class of budding journalists.

Last week 15 trainee reporters arrived at the force's Follingsby Park training base to put senior officers through their paces.

Police were holding their annual public order commander training where officers were asked to respond to the outbreak of violent disorder following a fictional football match.

And for the first time Northumbria Police invited a class of trainee journalists to attend the event to show officers how the event may unfold on social media.

The journalists, from the Press Association training course in Newcastle, were given the opportunity to hold one-to-one interviews with officers before Chief superintendent Ged Noble held a press conference.

He was impressed with the reporters and said the day was invaluable to developing media skills for some of the force's public order commanders.

Chief Supt Noble, who is the force's Southern Area Commander, said: "The impact of media on our policing operations has grown massively in recent years and we wanted to make our training as realistic as possible.

"When you are faced with significant disorder in a public place it is inevitable that it will be played out on social media and broadcast live on TV so we wanted re-create that experience.

"This kind of experience is invaluable to our officers and helps them understand the importance of communication with the public in real time, which is often through our media partners.

"We are delighted that we have been able to give the journalists an opportunity to take part in a realistic exercise that will also allow them to develop their own skillset as they move forward with their training."

Paul Jones, Head of PA Diploma Training said: "This was a great chance for our trainees to test their developing skills against a challenging scenario. It proved to be an invaluable experience.

"Trainees were able to interview senior officers, react in real-time to a story breaking across all kinds of social media, and take part in a formal press conference.

"They were unanimous in their praise of the day. They were also very impressed with the amazing Follingsby Park facilities."

Following the public order training the reporters were also shown round the state-of-the art facilities at Follingsby Park which is home to the force's Firearms Support Unit (FSU).

They were shown the high-tech firing range, the contents of the force's armed response vehicles (ARVs) and given the chance to speak to FSU Inspector Mick Hall.

View the full news release