A POLICE force has taken on its first group of student volunteers.

Northumbria Police has joined forces with the University of Sunderland to recruit 27 students to work alongside officers in a bid to enhance skills and support community policing.

The 27 volunteers from various degree course will work with officers from the neighbourhood engagement team in research and CCTV, education and marketing, technology and data analysis and health and sports sciences. They will be involved in a range of sectors behind the frontline, including educational inputs in schools and the community, supporting the force’s campaigns and helping to design and deliver new training packages.

Chief Inspector Sam Rennison said: “We are now looking forward to our trailblazers starting their roles in the coming weeks, and I have no doubt that the skills and knowledge they will bring will prove invaluable to our ongoing work across Sunderland and South Tyneside.

“Our various volunteers across the Force – from our Special Constables to Cadets and Mini Police – all have been and continue to be a valuable asset in supporting operational policing and help us to engage with the wider community in a number of ways.

“We are convinced that this exciting new partnership with the University of Sunderland will be equally as rewarding for the students involved, the Force as a whole and the communities we serve.”