Dr Martin Wright, Visiting Fellow, in collaboration with Micheal Saleh, Learning Services, has launched ‘Virtual Volunteering’, an online environment where users can engage in seeking a solution to policing problems.
Working closely with the South Wales Regional Organised Crime Unit, known as Tarian, and the All Wales Citizens in Policing Co-ordinator, the programme has been designed so that staff and students can access video presentations and modules to complete.
The ‘first of its kind’ programme addresses real problems faced by the police.
One of the issues that Tarian seek innovative solutions to is ‘Money Mules’, where students from China are particularly vulnerable to being coerced into allowing organised crime groups to access to their UK bank accounts. The ‘Money Mules’, and sometimes family members, have faced threats and incidents of violence. The police want to warn international students about this but traditional approaches, such as providing advisory leaflets or lectures, have been ineffective. Solutions can be submitted, by the volunteers, in various ways, such as TikTok videos, social media campaigns, or written proposals. Volunteers are invited to be as creative as they want to be.
Dr Martin Wright, retired Police Officer and USW Visiting Fellow, said: “We are living in a climate where there is mistrust of the police, particularly amongst young people, so we wanted to try and achieve two things. To create an environment whereby people could volunteer for the police easily, but also to engage positively with groups of individuals who would not normally engage.
“The volunteers receive a letter of appreciation from Tarian, upon completion, and they gain work experience that they can reflect upon in future job applications."
Michael Saleh, USW Learning Services, said: “Virtual experience projects such as this are a fantastic way of developing student confidence whilst gaining graduate level experience.”
Virtual Volunteers is accessible via CareersConnect.