THOUSANDS of people braved the unpredictable weather to enjoy a close-up look at our emergency services’ tools of the trade at the annual Behind The Badge open day.

The roads around the Gwent Police headquarters at Croesyceiliog were closed to traffic to enable a range of organisations to show off their expertise and the equipment that every day saves lives, extinguishes fires, and helps capture criminals.

This was a day for the men and women of Gwent Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust and others to give visitors an insight into their working lives, and also to plant the seeds of possible future careers in the minds of some of the younger attenders.

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(A Fire Service demonstration at the Behind the Badge event. Picture: Gwent Police.)

A number of displays were run during the event, to give people an insight into how various aspects of policing and other emergency work is carried out.

Firearms and taser displays were held by Gwent Police, and the force’s dog section was in action showing off their athletic versatility, catching some ‘criminals’ too, and proving just as popular as ever with the crowds.

The robotic blurt of the traffic police car regularly filled the air, along with sirens from a range of other emergency vehicles, and the fire engines again proved a popular draw, particularly for the children.

Gwent Scouts were in attendance, trying - with perhaps surprising success - to entice young and old into taking on their own insect-chewing bushtucker challenge.

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(An armed police demonstration at the Behind the Badge event. Picture: Gwent Police.)

There was a chance too, for people of all ages to test themselves by running whilst being tracked by a police manual speed camera. Certificates recording the speeds reached for handed out, and while no-one broke the speed limit, a good time was being had by all who took part.

A good part of the event too, was involved in hands-on demonstrations of skills, and the opportunity for people to have a go themselves.

Thus, the ambulance trust and St John Wales gave demonstrations of lifesaving CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation), and plenty of people took the chance to have a go themselves.

Severn Area Rescue Association were also busy too, with displays of the equipment they use in their work in Gwent waterways and beyond.

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(Bullet and PC Rhion Weston during a demonstration at the Behind the Badge event at Gwent Police HQ.

Also in attendance were a number of cadets organisations that offer young people a chance to get involved in a range of activities.

“It’s a great event. We came last year and there’s even more to enjoy this time,” said Beth Walker, of Cwmbran, who attended with her grandchildren James, six and Mia, four.

“The kids have got their stickers and colouring books from the police and the other organisations that are here, and they’ve sat in the police car, and on the bikes, so they’re happy.

“They’ve also seen the police dogs and got a chance to pet a couple of them.”