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Officers of the future come face to face with the past during unique training day

Future West Mercia Police officers spent the day learning about the past as they met one of the pioneers of women's policing in Herefordshire.

Lena Phillips was invited to the force's Hindlip headquarters on Tuesday (7 May) where she spent time talking about her experiences of policing to student officers currently undergoing training.

One of the very first female officers, Lena's career started back in 1947 when she joined Herefordshire Constabulary shortly after it began appointing women.

Now 93, Lena is still a big part of the policing family and regularly attends local National Association of Retired Police Officers (NARPO) events.

During her visit, she addressed a group of current students who are halfway through their training programme before joining them for lunch along with Deputy Chief Constable, Amanda Blakeman. They also enjoyed a cake designed to celebrate 75 years of women in policing across the West Mercia Police area.

During the afternoon, Lena observed another group of officers at the start of their training as they carried out a role play centred on a theft and the subsequent arrest of an offender being brought into custody.

DCC Blakeman also shared stories from her time in policing with the groups.

Speaking after the event, DCC Blakeman said: "It was a real pleasure to meet with ex-PC Lena Phillips who joined myself and our students to talk about the challenges and the opportunities policing has given her over the years.

"At 93, Lena's recollection of being a 22-year-old officer on point duty, walking the beat, her colleagues in Hereford and driving her police minivan was fascinating.

"Lena's is still a very active member of NARPO and is fiercely independent. Her pride in having served in Hereford was evident as she spoke. Both Lena and I agreed that we had made great progress for women in policing since 1947."

Issued: 9am, Wednesday 8 May, Laura Maltby, Corporate Communications


Published 08/05/19