Our friends in blue

September 15, 2006

Your excellent piece about "brainy bobbies on the beat" gives a compelling account of skills enhancement for our boys (and girls) in blue who are enjoying higher education life and learning ("A quiet revolution for law and order", September 8). However, it fails to highlight some of the less visible benefits of integrating probationary police officers with the increasingly diverse undergraduate population.

Here at York St John University College we have found North Yorkshire Police trainees to be worthy challengers in our annual fun run in support of student bursaries. They also tend to win prizes on student union pub quiz nights, and they create splendid role-play opportunities for the drama students (riots in the quad now representing good spectator sport).

We did point out, however, that their checking of tyre-treads and tax discs in the car park might not promote a deepening of friendships.

What matters most is that this new set of public service training arrangements contributes to "modernisation". On a relatively compact campus, we are forging mutual understanding (and appreciation) across different cultures that augurs well for citizenship and future community development.

And, of course, campus crime is plummeting. It's a win-win situation.

Dianne Willcocks
York St John University College

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