Law and Criminology students from Edge Hill University gained unique insight from a trip to Germany funded by the Student Opportunity Fund.

Around 20 students experienced policing methods and techniques from an international perspective while being based at the picturesque International Police Association (IPA) conference centre, as well as being given the opportunity to visit relevant institutions in Cologne, Munster and Bruhl.

IPA was set up by Lincolnshire Police Sergeant Arthur Troop in 1950 to promote friendship and co-operation amongst serving and retired police officers worldwide, where they can develop social, cultural and professional links free of discrimination.

Schloss Gimborn conference centre, situated in Marienheide, North Rhine-Westphalia, is a former moated castle which hosts training and conferences for police officers, with Anna’s contacts as an ex-Greater Manchester Police Officer enabling her to organise an international collaboration, education and training event.

Munster cells

With the support of senior officers from the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) regional police, outings included visits to the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne and Munster, the police station in Munster; and the police headquarters in Cologne. Staff were also given unique access to the NRW police training facility at Bruhl.

Senior Lecturer in Policing, Anna Hopkins, said: “The idea was to provide an international platform for students’ experience and knowledge of criminal law and policing from an international perspective, and enhance their employability.

“Learning about parts of their degree programme in an international setting also brought them out of their comfort zone, ensuring they rely more upon their peers thereby building on their team building and communication skills.

“Reflecting on the differences in approaches to both police training and the practical application of the law also enable students to gain improved critical analysis skills which will benefit their academic assignments and improve their grades.”

Senior Lecturer in Policing, Lawrence Forrest, added: “The trip provided both policing, law and criminology students with an outstanding opportunity to enhance their skill set and develop a wider understanding of criminal justice matters internationally.

“The Student Opportunity Fund provided financial support to our students allowing them to attend this outstanding event and the student feedback was very positive.

“The future is very positive, with plans afoot to run the trip again in 2020 and for additional collaboration between ourselves, NRW police and the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne.”

Find out you can apply for financial support from the Student Opportunity Fund here.