UWTSD student volunteers to feature in BBC One Wales’ Police 24/7


Students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Public Services degree programme will feature in the new series of the popular BBC One Wales series, Police 24/7 which returns to our screens Monday night at 8.30pm.

With the ultimate aim of working within the public services – either within the police, fire or ambulance services – students are encouraged to get as much real-life experience as possible during their studies.

One of the volunteer schemes that the students in Swansea are involved with is Help Point – a scheme which will be highlighted in Monday night’s episode of Police 24/7.

The Help Point is a highly respected and scheme based in Swansea.  It is run by St John’s Ambulance, South Wales Police along with the student volunteers and is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Help Point was started back in September 2014 and is open every Wednesday and Saturday night and on key Friday nights and Bank holidays. Its purpose is to help vulnerable, injured and intoxicated people in the night time economy of Swansea and to date has dealt with nearly 2000 people.

The students play a crucial role in patrolling the area, working with door staff, the police and CCTV to identify vulnerable people.

One of those featured in the programme is Dale Craven from Swansea. 

Having graduated with a BA in Public Services from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) last Summer, Dale was determined to embark on a career that would enable him to help others.

“When I started the degree course at UWTSD I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but I really liked the idea of helping people,” says Dale.

“The course helped me develop a varied range of skills and thanks to the experience I gained whilst volunteering, I realised that I really wanted to be police officer.”

After graduating, Dale spent some time working for the Fire Service and although he loved his job, his dream was to become a police officer.  So 11 months ago, Dale applied to South Wales Police - and was successful.  On Monday, the same day that he appears on TV in Police 24/7, Dale will be starting his first day of training to become a Police Officer with the force.

“All of the hard work and volunteering I did during my time at UWTSD has paid off.  I feel that I’ve reached my goal – it’s onwards and upwards from here!

“When I started university, I was quiet and reserved but taking part in the volunteering schemes helped me develop my confidence and proficiency and gave me the opportunity to deal with so many different types of people.  I began to understand the importance of treating everyone as individuals and I know that my experience with Help Point has certainly helped me achieve my goal.  I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without the Public Services course and the University,” he continues.

Dale is one of 8 students featured in the programme and found the experience both exciting and rewarding.

“Filming Police 24/7 was a brilliant experience for us as students,” adds Dale.  “During the evenings that the crew filmed with us, we dealt with a mixture of problems and a variety of calls.  We were able to show Carrie, the producer, the wide range of issues we regularly have to deal with and we’re all looking forward to seeing the work of Help Point highlighted in Monday’s episode.”

Carrie Smith, the BBC Wales producer who worked with the students was definitely impressed by their commitment.

“I couldn’t believe that the students were giving up their free time to work on weekends in what was quite a difficult job,” says Carrie.

“Many people were lovely to them and grateful for their help but others were hostile and unpredictable. They were so professional and reassuring. From talking to them it was obvious how focussed they were on gaining experience in order to secure employment in the future. They not only had the pressure of us being present with the cameras, but also the Police and Crime Commissioner, Alun Michael who spoke on camera about how impressed he was with their work.”

As well as Help Point, one of the University’s other police related schemes is METPOL– a volunteer scheme that was set up in 2012 as a way of allowing those studying Public Services and Law courses to gain valuable insights into the role of a police officer; to develop core employability skills and to actually benefit the local Police force.

The scheme has been working with a range of partners including South Wales Police; the Safer Swansea Partnership; City and County of Swansea as well as The British Business Crime Prevention Organisation and has worked on a range of community initiatives and campaigns.

The students have been recognised for their efforts by winning a High Sheriff award in March 2015, as well as being nominated and shortlisted for a Lord Ferrers award 2015 and a South Wales Police ‘Extra Mile’ Award 2015.

"METPOL was started 5 years ago to provide students professional work experience with South Wales police,” says course tutor, Bronwen Williams who established the scheme.

“I am so proud of the commitment, enthusiasm and professionalism of the students involved who have enabled the scheme to really develop. Their dedication and professionalism is clearly shown in the BBC show and they are a real asset to the course and the university."

A number of students have gone into public sector roles straight after graduation and greatly value the opportunities they gained through the various experiences they were given at UWTSD.

The students will feature in the first episode of the new series of Police 24/7 which starts on BBC One Wales on Monday night at 8.30pm.

For further information about the BA Public Services course, please contact Bronwen Williams by emailing bronwen.williams@uwtsd.ac.uk

Further Information

  1. For more information please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk / 07449 998476