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PCC hears how Notts Police best practice was taken to world stage

City of Assen visit

Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry with City of Assen, NTU and Nottinghamshire Police representatives

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry has paid tribute to an ex-officer who has brought Nottinghamshire’s policing best practice to the Netherlands.

Andrew O’Hagan, an ex-detective sergeant for serious organised crime in Nottinghamshire, has been visiting the Dutch force in the city of Assen for 20 years.

 He’s now been made a lifetime ambassador after they picked up ideas from him around body cams for officers and the force’s street triage team, which joins up police officers and mental health practitioners to provide a specialist response to people with mental health issues.

He has made key connections in the province and has built up the entire partnership between the country’s police forces, which has even helped bring the Dutch police closer to their communities.

In collaboration they looked at the different policing procedures in the different cities and because of that, he was asked by the Dutch police to go and help at the TT races where 100,000 people attend.

After this, he continued going every year and began to take officers from Nottinghamshire along with him.

Since leaving the police and lecturing at Nottingham Trent University for the last 13 years in the Chemistry and Forensics department, he has also created a programme which allows students to work within Assen with the police and City Hall.

He said: “I first went out there in 2003 as an exchange project between Nottinghamshire, Poznan and Assen to tackle drugs and reduce crime.

“We can learn things from them, they can learn things from us.

“Assen has looked at what Nottinghamshire has been doing and have taken it on board, body cams for officers and metal health triage are just some to mention.

“Some of the methods they use in the Netherlands have also been brought back by officers who have got the experience of going out there every June. 

“Because of all the things I was involved in they made me a lifetime ambassador of the city of Assen, which means they pay for me to go over every June for the rest of my life to be a VIP guest of the city.

“I’d like to see more of it, it’s a fantastic opportunity.”

François Kloosterhuis, the international contact coordinator at Assen City Hall, said: “There’s no logical reason why we should go together, but it works.”

“It’s a match made in heaven.

“When we started the partnership in 2003, everyone could see an English police officer which is not something you normally see. People wanted to know if he was a real officer, and it brought the visitors of the TT festival closer to our own police.”

During their most recent visit to Nottinghamshire, the representatives from Assen met with Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry.

It was a great opportunity for her to hear all about the cross-partnership work going on between the two forces and was able to hear how our practices here have helped Dutch officers, as well as getting a tour of the university’s Forensics department.

 Commissioner Henry said: “No matter where a police officer is based, they have the same responsibilities to keep the public safe.

“Where we can, it is always great to share our best tips and tricks of the trade to help officers everywhere give the best service they possibly can.

“Not only has Andrew been doing some incredible work with bringing Dutch police closer to their own community, but he has put Nottinghamshire Police’s best practices on a world stage."

Posted on Thursday 16th February 2023
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