Whenever police officers from around the world meet there is always an inevitable exchange. Knowledge, ideas, stories, and of course gifts. Often these are items symbolic of their homeland and are happily received, but wherever possible, it represents their unit or organisation and these are most prized by those that receive them.
When the officers of the International Police Association (IPA) met in Stirling for the 5th Bi-annual Young PoliceOfficer Seminar (YPOS), it was no different.
The IPA draws the police family together from 67 countries, in the spirit of shared learning and friendship, enabling a huge range of social exchanges and professional development, and is the largest social police organisation in the world.
Founded in the UK, this year it was our honour to host our colleagues for YPOS, a series of seminars and lectures targeted at younger members helping them to improve their knowledge and expand their experiences, and naturally develop contacts and friendships. At the University of Stirling we brought together 44 participants from 25 countries, from the UK, across Europe and as far afield as Hong Kong, Mauritius and Japan.
Throughout the week, exchanges were made between the delegates; a patch here, a badge there, and even some parts of uniform were destined never to return home.
With this in mind, Section UK had done its utmost to source a gift truly iconic of British policing as a memento of what for many, including the organisers, will be a once in a lifetime experience. With genuine equipment growing harder to come by, especially in the volume we needed, we had to look outside of our own forces and consider other options, and the resulting partnership was perfect.
On the evening of our formal Gala dinner, to which dress uniform was worn by all who could, we were thrilled to present every attendee with a bespoke ACME whistle. Fashioned in the style of the classic Metropolitan Police whistle, each pristinely engraved with the logo of the IPA and tuned to a pitch which immediately led one to reminisce of ‘Dixon of Dock Green’, we could not have been happier with the way they were received.
Of all the gifts that were distributed across the event this one will be amongst the most cherished, not just for the spirit which it represents but for the superb craftsmanship that is displayed. I would not be surprised if this iconic piece of British police memorabilia does not go on to see service, adorned on the chains of the beautiful ceremonial uniforms our colleagues wore, where it certainly would not be out of place.
We thank ACME wholeheartedly for their support Section UK, the Young Police Officer Seminar, and of the International Police Association, and we look forward to working with them again on future projects.
Aidan Goundry, International Police Association