POLICE chiefs have condemned the University of Huddersfield for teaching members of Colonel Gaddafi’s feared police force.
The 12 students are part of the 103 Libyans studying masters degrees in forensic science at Huddersfield University.
Police leaders have questioned for what the skills will be used upon the officers’ return to North Africa.
Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation, said he was disappointed to see “kowtowing” to the Gaddafi regime.
He said the students’ presence was an “insult to the memory” of shot Pc Yvonne Fletcher, who was killed as she policed a demonstration at the Libyan embassy in central London in 1984.
And a Libyan activist living in Huddersfield is also concerned.
Abdul Turki, a Libyan-born businessman who lives in Taylor Hill, has organised protests against the Gaddafi regime in Bradford.
Mr Turki said: “I’ve no objection to Libyan students training there. I came here to study myself.”
But he added: “They shouldn’t be training the police at the university.”
Mr McKeever said: “I think it is a huge shame that we as a country are involved with the Libyan regime. It is an insult to the memory of Yvonne Fletcher.
“I am disappointed there has been kowtowing to the Gaddafi regime over the past years and we have to ask ourselves what we have had in return.
“It shows a lack of respect to police officers in this country that we’re assisting in the training of police officers who’ll be doing what, we have no idea, when they return to Libya.”
The visitors are members of Libya’s ordinary police force, which investigates crime, rather than the controversial Internal Security Agency, which deals with political dissidents.
However, regular Libyan police have been implicated in a range of human rights violations before the current revolt.
The University’s deputy vice-chancellor Prof Peter Slee said the officers were among 103 Libyan students involved in the studies.
Matt Christie, president of Huddersfield National Union of Students, said the union did not want to comment on the issue.
He said: “These are students. They are forensic scientists. I don’t know where they are going apart from university.
“We have a responsibility to our members. They are also members of our university.”
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said the force did not want to comment on the issue.