Leicester University students helping police with their enquiries

A cohort of undergraduate Applied Mathematics students at the University of Leicester have been working with police forces in the East Midlands on enhancing policing.

As part of a new initiative, the students have teamed up with policing professionals to enhance efficiency analysis of policing demand and how to help policing reflect the community is serves in its recruitment.

The approach of bringing together students with policing is helping in a number of ways. Firstly, it allows the students to apply their skills and knowledge to ‘real-world’ challenges, and secondly it offers an opportunity for policing to gain fresh insights into important professional workstreams.

Students heard all about policing from those leading the work and then designed their projects to specifically help tackle the challenges set.

Applied Mathematics student Hannah Chander said, “For us as students, it’s such a wonderful experience to work with professionals, be trusted with real-life problems and to be able to present ideas that may not have been thought of before. It has allowed us to gain experience working in a professional environment even before we graduate so the project benefits both us as students and the professionals. I’m proud of the fact that our projects could potentially positively impact on improving policing.”

Superintendent Mark Housley said, “It’s been a great opportunity to work with students to get their views and insights on what are very important issues for us in policing to continually improve in. I’ve been impressed in how the students have listened to our professional work context and then come back with their original ideas and contributions to help us re-fresh our thinking.”

The initiative forms part of a strategic approach by the University of Leicester to link Applied Mathematics students with public and private sector industries so that the students can apply and hone their talents, whilst bringing applied problem solving benefits to industry too.

Professor of Applied Mathematics, Jeremy  Levesley explained, “Sometimes people don’t realise the skills and knowledge applied mathematicians have that can help in a number of different ways, particularly in making sense of data so that improvements can be made. Working with policing has been a great experience and we hope to repeat and expand the initiative in the future.”

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