Students from Uxbridge College got a taste of what it would be like to be a council or police officer for a day as part of the Uxbridge North Streets Ahead event which took place on 24 January.

Seven students on Public Services courses shadowed officers to learn new skills, find out about areas of work they could consider pursuing in the future and make a positive contribution to their local area.

One of the teams that the students spent the day with was the environmental enforcement team which was in the town centre taking action against those found to be dropping litter and reminding people of the littering laws.

Bill Hickson, Hillingdon Council's Environmental Enforcement Manager, said: "It is great to see the young people taking an active interest in their local environment and community. This is an excellent opportunity for them to find out what working in the public sector is about and gaining valuable skills at the same time."

Mark Nettle, Director of Student Services at Uxbridge College, said: "Uxbridge College is very much part of its community, so we were pleased to take part in Hillingdon Council's Streets Ahead scheme to help make Uxbridge a tidier, safer place. The students shadowing officers all learned skills working with the public and found out more about job opportunities for the future, as well as making a contribution to their local area."

The Streets Ahead programme focuses on engagement, education and enforcement and takes place on the fourth Thursday each month in a different ward.

Activities include truancy sweeps, graffiti removal, community litter picks, car park and street cleansing, fly tips and bulky waste removal, advice on claiming benefits, how to fireproof your home and safer neighbourhood teams advice. Vehicle stop searches, food outlet and health and safety inspections, trading standard sweeps, highways and utilities enforcement, park patrols and other activities also take place.

Some of the local partners in the scheme include the Metropolitan Police, Safer Neighbourhood Teams, London Fire Brigade, Hillingdon Homes, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Vehicle and Operator Services Agency VOSA, Probation Service and the Department of Work & Pensions.

Streets Ahead was piloted in Townfield in March 2007, since then it has successfully taken place in ten wards across the borough including Yiewsley, Barnhill, Northwood Hills, Botwell, Brunel, Ruislip Manor, West Drayton, Pinkwell, South Ruislip and Uxbridge North.

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