CITY visitors can find out what it is like to be locked up in a police custody vehicle, ride the fire service's aerial ladder platform and watch a river rescue as part of a uniformed services fun day.

The event takes place in Durham city centre on Friday and will feature activities provided by the emergency services and other organisations, including Durham Police, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, the North East Ambulance Service, Great North Air Ambulance, Blood Bikes and Rifles D Company.

The Northern Echo:

Durham Police at last year's uniformed services fun day

Colin Wilkes, managing director of Durham Markets, which is helping to organise the day, said: “This year’s uniformed services fun day is perfectly timed for half term, and we’re hoping loads of youngsters will encourage their families to come into the city centre and make the most of the activities, displays and attractions.

"There’s always plenty to do, and our uniformed services personnel are great at answering questions, posing for photographs and getting the kids involved. It’s a guaranteed great family day.”

Paul Cummings, from the fire service, added: “All our uniformed services value these opportunities to meet the public. Not only can we explain how we train and what we can do, but we can help people understand how to prevent emergencies happening, and how to respond if they do. The children are endlessly fascinated by what we do, and we’re hoping all family members will go home a little wiser at the end of the day.”

Events take place in Market Place, Millennium Place and the Prince Bishops Shopping Centre and there will also be free face painting, storytelling and minibeasts in the Market Hall.