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Barking Dagenham College IT students work with other students the police and professional designers

Students work with designers and police officers

28th February 2024

IT students produced digital solutions around issues that affect them, such as ‘Stop and Search’ at a special event.

Working alongside officers from the Met and City of London Police, young people from schools and colleges across London took part in the innovative digital design project.

The one-day event, devised by Digital Skills Consulting involved students working with design experts, Experience Haus.

Supported by professional designers and mentors, the 15-19-year-olds developed a range of ideas including apps and websites. At the end of the day, they presented their prototypes to the rest of the group.

Cristian Sidor, Barking & Dagenham College IT student said: “The Metropolitan Police workshop was amazing. I gained and developed valuable skills which would be very useful all throughout my career.”

The police officers joined working groups of students and were acknowledged by all the young people as being “honest, open and transparent”.

Valiyah Kerr Barking Dagenham College IT student presents his digital project at the police and design event

City of London Police (COLP) has been instrumental in commissioning these events, in a unique joint venture with the Met Police (MPS). Chief Superintendent Bill Duffy of the COLP said:

“This event has been brilliant. It has meant we can engage with the youth of London and improve our service to them. All the partners want to see change and we want to understand what we can do to make this happen."

“Young people have great minds and are happy to challenge the way we think and our processes. This is what we need. Having people of all different ages, from all different backgrounds is a really interesting prospect in terms of what we could deliver.

“A joint partnership approach is really important; If we all pull together we can help combat issues young people face and build trust in policing.”

Project Director Julia Von Klonowski of Digital Skills Consulting led the project, together with Experience Haus’ Amit Patel and Rosie Pritchard. Julia said; “This was another fantastic day, and the young people were amazing. They were engaged, curious and resourceful and, working alongside the designers and the police officers, they came up with some ‘gold nuggets’ in terms of ideas to incorporate into a digital solution, website, or app.

“These students represent the future of our communities, as well as the health of our country. Through this event, they have learned that their voices are important – and have developed skills that they will use in their careers and their lives.

Cristian Sidor Barking Dagenham College IT student works with other students the police and professional designers

“Going forward, the development of these solutions will help improve some of the negative perceptions of police by young people, but also improve perceptions of the young people by the police.”

The students came from: Barking & Dagenham College, Sir George Monoux College, City of London Academy Islington, Activate Learning, City Academy Southwark, Vallance Community Sports Association Ltd. and the City Academy, Hackney.

The police officers joined working groups of students and were acknowledged by all the young people as being “honest, open and transparent”.

The students’ designs will now be taken forward to the next stage of the project, towards the build and launch of an innovative new service to support communities across London.

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