A YOUNG Runcorn student had a fast-paced and exhilarating end to his work experience – which left him eager to join the police. Thomas Parry, 15, had a surprise on his last day at the Museum of Policing in Cheshire.

Sgt Graham Robinson, Warrington Town Centre Beat Sergeant, showed him what life was like for Public Order Officers on the front line dealing with riots and attacks. He brought full body armour for Thomas to wear, including protective vests, full body suit, shield and face-covering helmet.

Thomas was put through a series of fitness challenges including climbing steps carrying a heavy riot shield.

“It’s like walking through water trying to move in the heavy gear. It’s tough to move in all the gear and carrying the shield.” he said

Sgt Robinson explained tactics police used to control crowds and tackle riots. He showed Thomas the police van complete with “cells” at the back, warning sirens and essential equipment for all disturbances. He talked about the fitness and training – including wearing the heavy equipment for many hours and completing challenges including running and dragging a “body” across the floor.

Sgt Robinson said: “The kit is fire retardant and very heavy, sometimes we have to be in it for 12 hours. In 2011 when there were riots in London we had to get the kit on in the van bouncing off each other and the walls, as we raced down on Blue Lights at 80 miles per hour.

“During the recent cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United, officers were stationed at every service station in Cheshire for 12 hours in the heavy gear,” he added.

He said officers do a four-day course for the role and have to wear the kit during the training. They need high levels of fitness and strength.

After the session Thomas said: “It was absolutely amazing… I definitely want to join the Police now.”

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