SHOPPERS walking down Grantham High Street on Tuesday morning could be forgiven for doing a double take.
Walking from one end to the other, chances were you’d pass at least a dozen police officers patrolling the streets in full luminous gear.
What was the reason? Was Grantham to become a trial town for a new police state?
Well the eagle-eyed amongst you would have noticed the tell-tale sign - the orange arm band on every officer reading “Lincolnshire Police Training”.
Police training manager Paula Marshall explained: “We have 24 students training in Grantham today.
“The officer are all paired up and they each have to take turns as a lead and a support in dealing with a variety of situations we have set up for them.
“They are all being assessed and if they struggle with anything the assessor will step in to help.”
College students from Sleaford were brought in to act out a range of training scenarios including anti-social behaviour, shoplifting and littering.
The police set up their own custody suite and control room in the George Centre, while a host of other businesses volunteered to help, including Asda and Dorothy Perkins.
Insp Nigel Storey said: “This is part of police officer training now.
“They come into communities and walk around as if they are on patrol. Part of the day is set up scenarios but they also have to deal with genuine requests and questions from the local people they meet.”
Similar training days have been held in other towns around Lincolnshire.
Unfortunately, the trainee police constables will not all be working in Grantham when they qualify. Instead they will be used throughout the county.