Over 150 young members of the Mini Police enjoyed a celebratory day of activities at Avon and Somerset Police headquarters in recognition of their involvement in this initiative.
The Mini Police initiative – jointly funded by Avon and Somerset Police, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and National Volunteer Police Cadets – is delivered by members of the local neighbourhood policing team in partnership with schools.
It offers children aged between 9 and 11 years old the chance to build positive relationships with their local police team, whilst helping out in their school and the wider community.
At the event the Mini Police members enjoyed an action packed day of dog displays, had the opportunity to sit in Police cars and Fire engines, observed a Police horse display, and received certificates and awards from Avon and Somerset Police Chief Constable Andy Marsh.
Pupils from the following schools were all in attendance:
- Somerset Bridge School, Bridgwater
- Bournville Primary, Weston-super-Mare
- St Barnabas Primary, East Bristol
- Oasis Connaught School, Knowle, Bristol
- Greenfield EACT Academy, Knowle, Bristol
- Fair Furlong, Hartcliffe
- Parkwall Primary, Cadbury Heath, Bristol
- Preston Primary, Yeovil.
Inspector Alecto Shyne, commented: “This is a fantastic scheme that enables our neighbourhood officers to work with the younger members of our communities building a rapport that will hopefully stand them in good stead in the future, to become key members of their communities. This has also enabled the children to connect with the older members of their communities whilst learning important life skills.”
Avon and Somerset Police Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “I was delighted to present our young Mini Police members with certificates in recognition of their involvement in this important initiative.
“Our local neighbourhood policing teams work extremely hard to build and maintain positive relationships with the local community and this initiative enables our officers to engage with some of the younger members in a fun and rewarding way.
“I hope the pupils, their teachers and parents had an enjoyable day and I look forward to seeing further units form over the next year.”
Avon and Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, added: “It is really wonderful to see the success of the Mini Police initiative.
“Feedback from the pupils, their families, teachers and the wider community has been overwhelmingly positive. We have seen the children who have been involved in Mini Police grow in confidence. They are proud to put on their uniform and be part of a force for good in their school and the community. Teachers also tell us that the behaviour of many of the pupils has also improved. The children learn what police officers do and how they can help people in the communities they live in.
“The initiative not only inspires children to consider a career in policing in later life, but also encourages great relationships between the police and the next generation.”
The Mini Police scheme was piloted in September 2017 at Oasis Connaught School in Knowle, Bristol and has been so successful that a further seven schemes launched the following year. There are currently 30 active Mini Police units working with youngsters from a range of locations across the Avon and Somerset region and it is hoped more will launch late this year.
Children learn what it means to be a police officer and the importance of the community working with police to help protect them from crime. By engaging with children and young people from an early age, the Mini Police aims to reduce future demand, discussing how getting involved in criminality can affect their lives and planting the seed that policing could be a career for them in the future.