Young people take on police duties 

Young people acting as police officers
(l-r) PC Taz Khan, Nathan Smith, Ammad Chaudhry, Khansa Taha, Asim Iqbal and inspector Shane O'Neill

Young people from Bolton became police inspectors as part of the 11 Million Take Over Day.

Take Over Day is a national event offering children and young people across the country the chance to work alongside adults and get involved in decision-making in a wide range of organisations.

On Saturday (November 13), Greater Manchester Police and Bolton Council arranged for Police Inspector Shane O'Neill to hand over his duties to four young people from Bolton Youth Council, who acted as police officers for the day.

Khansa Taha (16), Asim Iqbal (18), Ammad Chaudhry (18) and Nathan Smith (19) were given a full briefing when they arrived, before being shown around a police station and custody suite, and asked to consider issues about management and control of prisoners.

The next stop took them to one of the forces training grounds to have a look at self-defence training, and to look at specialist departments such as the dog training school.

From there, the young people went to the air support unit for a hands-on look at the police plane and helicopter. They were then taken to the communications branch to see how the police deal with thousands of calls on a daily basis.

To conclude the day’s activities, Inspector O'Neill took them to see the public order training department, and explained the role of an inspector in a public order or riot situation.

Inspector O'Neill said: “I am very proud to be a police inspector in Bolton, a town which I have been brought up in, and I think that it is great to allow four young people to come and see just what it is like being in the police. I knew they were in for a shock, as it is a far cry from what is portrayed on the television.

“Throughout the day they had to make decisions I would normally be making, and we looked at the consequences each decision they make has. However, I am hoping that we gave them an exciting insight into policing, and that they went away with a positive impression of what we do.”

Councillor Ebrahim Adia, Executive Member for Children’s Services at Bolton Council, said: “The take over is represents a great opportunity for young people to learn more about the organisations that work in their area, get an idea about future careers and have a lot of fun.

“The four young people lucky enough to join forces with the police will no doubt have had an eye-opening day, and I would like to thank Inspector O’Neill for taking the time to make sure they enjoyed their experience.”

Now in its fourth year, the event has grown from strength to strength since it was launched. Last year, around 30,000 children and young people worked with hundreds of organisations, including businesses, schools, police and fire services, newspapers, banks, TV and radio stations, charities, local councils, MPs, hospitals and government departments.

On a local level, last year in Bolton saw young people take over schools, Ucan centres, the Action for Children charity, play schemes, and many more.

This year the organisations that took part include: Harvey’s Kids Club; Bolton Interfaith Council; Leverhulme Play Centre; Firwood School; Rumworth School; John Holt Parent and Toddler Group; Harmony group; Playing for Success; Action For Children; Bolton Museum and Library Service; Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service; and the Octagon.

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Media contact
George Wright
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