EU Connects delivers Norfolk Police EU Exchange pilot
EU Connects delivers Norfolk Police EU Exchange pilot

EU Connects has delivered


A European funding seminar has been pivotal in helping to establish a policing exchange network between the UK and the east of the continent.

Representatives from Norfolk Constabulary attended an EU Connects seminar in Cambridge in 2012 where EU Connects advisors and colleagues from ECORYS (The National Contact Point for the EU Lifelong Learning Programme) presented the various funding strands available under the EU Lifelong Learning Programme.

The Norfolk force already had an interest in developing partnerships with their counterparts abroad, but had been unsuccessful in obtaining funding or contacts to explore this further. Stephanie Stearman, the Business Liaison Co-ordinator for Norfolk Constabulary, said: "I was really pleased to be able to attend the EU Connects seminar on the Lifelong Learning Programmes, and this really helped us being able to speak with EU contacts and ECORYS (the National Contact point) face to face and gain the help and information we needed to make a successful bid for funding."

The Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) provides opportunities for organisations, staff and learners involved in education and training across Europe to work together, learn from each others' expertise, and widen their experience of other cultures and languages. Funded by the European Commission, the LLP supports a wide range of education and training activities across Europe and provides opportunities for all stages of lifelong learning. In the UK thousands of projects are funded each year and the work undertaken is also helping to develop and shape the education and training landscape in the UK. The LLP is made up of several programmes, each aimed at a specific target group.

At the seminar Norfolk Constabulary was able to identify Leonardo Preparatory funding as the most suitable way forward, and this bid was successful. A visit to Poland took place in January 2013 and this enabled the UK force to shape a project proposal with the Pomorskie Police Force around Safer Neighbourhood Policing. Through this collaboration they also agreed to an exchange, and the Polish team have also secured Leonardo funding.

Stephanie said: "Although the amount in terms of the grant awarded to Norfolk Constabulary is quite modest at just over €16,000, it will provide the chance for us to 'dip our toe in the water' and if successful will present the opportunity to look at other EU funding."

Other opportunities are already presenting themselves through the Leonardo funding stream, with a group of student officers from the Lithuanian Police School also obtaining funding so they can visit Norfolk.

With three projects now on the go, Norfolk Constabulary say they are still learning and working hard to get the full potential from each. They have persevered despite their initial setbacks and the EU Connects event was clearly key in putting them on the right track and providing information on the various sources of funding available. It is fantastic news to report they have some positive results and long may this continue

(EU Connects) helped us gain the information we needed to make a successful bid for funding.

Stephanie Stearman - Business Liaison Co-ordinator for Norfolk Constabulary