Commissioner and Cumbria Constabulary Launch ‘Mini Police’
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner and Cumbria Constabulary welcomed its first ‘Mini Police’ recruits today (27 March 2018) as the scheme officially launched in the county.
Pupils from Alston and Nenthead Schools – the first to enrol into the project – enjoyed their packed lunches with a difference as they were joined by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Chief Constable, and Deputy Chief Constable at Police Headquarters, Penrith.
The 30 children, aged 9-11 year olds, formed a Guard of Honour to welcome the Lord Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Cumbria, who the youngsters were given the opportunity to speak to, and enjoyed an exciting display from the Constabulary’s operational support team, which included dogs, drones, and police vehicles.
Head Teacher, Alston and Nenthead School, Ian Johnson, said: “”The children have completely engaged in this project and have loved the various displays that they have got to see today. The event has been exactly what I’d hoped and more. It has allowed the pupils to meet the police, to see what the police do, breaking down barriers between them.”
A national scheme, which features Mini Police uniforms funded in Cumbria by the Police and Crime Commissioner and Volunteer Police Cadets, Mini Police aims to increase trust and confidence within both the young people and communities.
Starting in the summer term, 28 Cumbrian schools will work with the police to run the programme, which will be delivered by their local Police Community Support Officers.
This will involve structured lessons – the first being on water safety, ahead of the school holidays – progressing on to community engagement activities, such as speed watch, visiting local care homes, and improving run down play areas.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria, Peter McCall, said: “I am very proud to see that we have now have our own Mini Police. It’s a great way to increase engagement, not just with the children themselves, but experience in other areas show that this naturally leads to engagement with their parents and carers, which will in turn indirectly allow for greater engagement with the wider community.
“The children I have met so far have impressed me with their enthusiasm, and I enjoyed the interviews I did with them. I am looking forward to seeing the scheme develop in the county.”
Temporary Chief Constable Michelle Skeer said: “Mini Police is a fantastic scheme that gives the police an opportunity to engage with young people, and for those young people to forge relationships with their communities.
“As well as being educational, the programme will allow pupils the chance to positively make a difference, and in turn, we hope this makes them feel some ownership and pride in the areas in which they live.
“These Mini Police will be ambassadors for us, wearing uniforms that bear the Constabulary crest, and the launch event was a great way for them to see what, and who, they would be representing. We certainly enjoyed meeting the children, and I look forward to seeing what good work they do.”