Deep in the heart of Cheshire, there’s a 'village'
that has uncountable incidents of petty theft, domestic disputes
and public disorder. Drink drivers
and shoplifters freely roam the streets.
Unbelievably, the police officers of 'Sandford' actively encourage this
This is because 'Sandford' isn’t a real village.
It is part of Bruche training centre, where the North
West police trainees are faced with the kind of incidents that they'’ll
have to deal with on the beat.
Danielle Freaney at the Bruche training centre|
Community Diversity Sergeant Danielle Freaney works
on the training programme.
She says, "The police officers get used to being in situations
where they have to consider what powers they are using."
"It’s a safe environment where they can learn and make
"They will get feedback and learn from it."
Under the guidance of Sergeant Freaney, new recruits
such as Tony Spelman (pictured above) attend Bruche for 15 weeks of intensive
They then join one of the North West’s police forces.
Some of the course is classroom based, but it’s during
their last week of training that the trainees are really challenged.
They must take part in a series of realistic role play
exercises, designed to reflect the incidents they’ll
face on the beat.
The role plays re-create:
- Traffic accidents
- Football hooliganism
- Stopping and searching burglars
|Bruche Training Facts|
Women make up 25 per cent of new recruits.
Around 1800 trainees attend every year.
Fictitious 'Sandford' covers only one square mile.
Seven main police forces send their trainees to
Bruche including Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Lancashire.
Members of the local community don’t miss out on the
They are recruited to act out the roles of criminals
and innocent bystanders in role plays.
Tony Chadwick has been a community volunteer at fictitious
Sandford for 10 years.
His ‘day job’ is with the fire brigade, but he’s perfected
the art of the irate member of the public.
He takes his ‘acting’ role very seriously to make sure
the trainees are as prepared as possible for the real world.
Ready for action
One person who has been subjected to Tony’s wrath is
P. C. Tony Spelman.
Inside Out witnessed P.C. Spelman practising his public
order skills with a crowd of convincing ‘football hooligans’.
Constables leave Bruche ready for action|
Contemplating his days tackling real crime, PC Spelman
says, "Everyone gets nervous."
"But it is channeling that, using the nerve and adrenaline
to good effect."
Sergeant Freaney is convinced that the make-believe village
tucked away near the M6 has helped to make him well equipped to do that.
"I look forward to the challenge," says the new PC Spelman,
who is now all kitted-up and eagerly anticipating his policing career.