Cheshire’s youngest police officers have been given the opportunity to quiz the county’s decision makers on how they can make their community safer.
Year 6 children from Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School in Runcorn - who make up Cheshire Constabulary’s Mini Police team - have taken part in a Q&A session with the police and crime commissioner, Runcorn’s chief inspector, local councillors and a local housing provider.
They asked PCC David Keane, chief inspector Sarah Heath, Cllr John Stockton, Cllr Stef Nelson and representatives from Riverside Housing how they can put measures in place to tackle issues that affect their community including littering, road safety and knife crime.
The Mini Police officers also had the opportunity to present the work they’ve carried out so far to other pupils at the school.
The children have been working on three key priorities for their community; protecting the local environment, helping vulnerable people in the community and road safety.
The Mini Police officers were sworn into their roles in June and were given a police uniform based loosely on a regular officers’ uniform to help them feel part of the police family.
Over the last six months they have taken part in litter picks, delivered food to the local food bank to support hundreds of families in the area and taken part in a speed check exercise.
PCSO Paul Barker brought the successful mini police scheme to Cheshire thanks to funding from PCC David Keane.
David said: “The Mini Police have been doing an amazing job over the last few months working hard to make their community a safer and happier place to live. They have really shown a commitment to working with their community to make a real difference.
“Mini Police is a fantastic scheme which educates young people about responsibility and the importance of contributing positively to their community. I hope that in the future, we can roll-out this scheme to other schools across Cheshire.”
PCSO Paul Barker added: “I’m incredibly proud of our Mini Police officers. Across the last six months they have made a real difference in their community by getting hands on and problem solving local issues that are important to them.
“They are a real asset to Runcorn local policing unit and a brilliant addition to the policing family.”
John McDonald, head teacher of Holy Spirit Primary School, said: “The children are enjoying the deepening relationship with community and seeing themselves make a difference. They have gained a greater insight into local problems and now see themselves as solution finders. I have seen them visibly grow before my eyes.
“This fits our Catholic ethos of service for others and they have become more aware of social justice issues. This project can only lead to them being effective and good citizens filled with a desire to help those most in need.”