A STUDENT Police Officer has been given a “valuable insight” into the work Copeland Council’s Housing team carries out in the community.
PC Rebecca Clark spent a three-day placement with the team last week to gain an understanding of the crucial work it does to prevent homelessness and assist those affected by domestic violence.
The placement is part of PC Clark’s 15-week training programme from Cumbria Constabulary’s Penrith Headquarters.
PC Clark said: “I will take a great deal away from this time spent with Copeland Council.
“It’s taught me an enormous amount and has given me a valuable insight into the work that the council does. It’s something I will always remember, share with colleagues once I return to HQ, and then take with me once I am out in my patch; for example offering advice and pointing people in the right direction if they are at risk of homelessness.”
During PC Clark’s placement, she visited various temporary accommodation projects within Copeland, including Calderwood House and Whitehaven Foyer, and improved her knowledge of the strong partnerships the council has with housing associations and other local authorities.
Amanda Starr, Copeland’s Strategic Housing and Social Inclusion Manager, said: “There are enormous benefits for us and the police from this work placement link.
“It gives the student officer awareness of the issues we tackle here at Copeland on a day-to-day basis, and demonstrates the joint working relationship we have between ourselves, the police and other partners.
“While on a strategic level, the knowledge that Rebecca can take back and share with her fellow student officers will strengthen our connections as the new recruits progress through their careers.”
Recent figures show that the council’s Housing team helped prevent 182 households from becoming homeless in the past year.
Chief Inspector Jon Sherlock said: “The police have a close relationship with councils across the county and we would like to thank Copeland Borough Council for providing this opportunity.
“This placement has offered a Police Constable an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the work of partners and the complexity and depth of some of the issues faced in policing.
“It is clear the experience has been beneficial to everyone involved, not least the Constabulary, the Council and the police officer herself. Now PC Clark has returned, it will be the wider community which benefits from her increased knowledge and experience.”