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Suffolk students’ app design could help shape police service of future

PUBLISHED: 09:23 03 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:51 03 March 2020

The winning team from Suffolk New College, left to right, Charlie Cox, Morgan Scott-Chantry and Adam Staff  Picture: JOHN NICE

The winning team from Suffolk New College, left to right, Charlie Cox, Morgan Scott-Chantry and Adam Staff Picture: JOHN NICE

John Nice

A group of Suffolk students could see their innovative ideas help shape the police force of the future.

Jo Garrard (Suffolk police) and Martin Memory (Suffolk New College)  Picture: JOHN NICEJo Garrard (Suffolk police) and Martin Memory (Suffolk New College) Picture: JOHN NICE

Youngsters from schools and colleges gathered to take part in a competition created by Suffolk police to drive innovation and enhance engagement.

A team from Suffolk New College were judged overall winners with their app designed to allow people to interact with the police, learn about community engagement projects and ongoing initiatives, report crime and access links for individuals to receive specialist support.

They were invited to present their plans during an innovation day at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, near constabulary headquarters.

The event was hosted by Inspector Jo Garrard, of the force's improvement and innovation team, who said: "We need to think outwardly to help solve our problems of the future.

Laura Debnam, of Suffolk police, who helped co-ordinate the day's events  Picture: JOHN NICELaura Debnam, of Suffolk police, who helped co-ordinate the day's events Picture: JOHN NICE

"Therefore, we created this competition for local education establishments and we were delighted with the response.

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"The winning team wowed us with their new app that aims to improve communication between the public and the police.

"All these ideas will be fed back directly to the Home Office and some ideas may end up getting adopted nationally. We are looking to design the police force of the future, and organisations like Suffolk New College are crucial to us going forward."

Laura Debnam, a graduation officer who also works for the Suffolk police innovation team, said: "We want to improve the engagement between the constabulary and colleges.

"From our point of view, young people come up with some of the best ideas and they bring a fresh perspective to our work.

"We want to keep reaching out to people in education and, long term, I'm working on a project to bring in new ideas via an intern programme."

Morgan Scott-Chantry, 16, from Ipswich, a level three public services student on the winning team, said: "Our idea is sustainable and can be used in the future, and it was very satisfying to be involved in this project."

Charlie Cox, 17, also helped develop the winning idea. He said: "I was surprised, proud and very happy to win."

Public services lecturer, Martin Memory, said: "I'm really impressed by the students and thankful to Suffolk police for their support."

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