Selston soldier helps make Afghanistan a safer place

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A ROYAL Military Police soldier from Selston is training up Afghan police to take on security in Helmand province.

Lance Corporal Jamie Alldread (22) has deployed to Afghanistan as part to the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group (PMAG), headed by the 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (1PWRR).

The PMAG provide a number of mentoring teams to the Afghan Uniformed Police (AUP), who are developing the capacity to provide security and day-to-day policing in central Helmand.

Jamie, a former pupil of Matthew Holland School, has been in Afghanistan for four weeks and is looking forward to tackling the challenges ahead.

LCpl Alldread is a member of the Royal Military Police (RMP) normally based in Sennelager, Germany with 110 Provost Company, and is attached to the PMAG to provide specialist police training to the AUP.

He has been working hard at developing his relationships with the AUP, with whom he lives side-by-side in a police station in a small village in central Helmand.

He said: “It’s been quite an eye-opener working with the Afghan police. This is my first tour and I’d never worked with the Afghans before.

“You hear so much on the news about Afghans, but you don’t really know what they are like until you actually meet them.”

As well as visiting the police in checkpoints around the village, Jamie teaches lessons in the police station covering such topics as detainee handling and evidence collection.

He said:“We have just given a lesson on detainee handling and we sat down drinking with them afterwards. It can be quite difficult because we only speak limited Pashto, but we can get by, asking them how they are and where they are from.

“The police commander sat down with us, and, through the interpreter, he told us that he was grateful to have us here and was looking forward to working with us. It was great to hear and made me feel a lot better about working with the police here.”

LCpl Alldread manages to find time in the evenings to relax, watching TV and using the well-supplied gym that they share with the AUP.

He said: “I’m quite impressed with the quality of living conditions here. I was expecting to be coming here and being on ration packs for six months, but we have fully-fledged working kitchen in here, and anyone who knows how to cook just gets in there and cooks for the lads.”

He will spend the next six months training, patrolling and living closely alongside the AUP and is looking forward to returning home for a ‘proper bacon sarnie’.