Cheshire Constabulary has welcomed a new intake of budding police recruits – all under the age of 12 – as part of a reworked mini cops scheme for 2022.
‘Mini cops’ will see children from seven primary schools from across Warrington to take part in assisting the community as part of the funding granted from the Police and Crime Commissioner and money seized criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
On Wednesday 16 and Wednesday 23 November, 57 children from seven schools were officially enrolled as mini police officers during Attestation Ceremonies at the Policing Museum.
During the ceremonies the children were sworn in as ‘Mini cops’ by Superintendent Mike Evans, who was joined by the Mayor of Warrington and the Police Crime Commissioner, John Dwyer.
They were also read the following statement of Common Purpose by presiding Judge Ann Boyd:“The purpose of the mini police is to act as role models to our peers representing Cheshire Constabulary; to help the community and our friends; and to be compassionate, polite, and patient.
“We must be on our best behaviour, professional and calm when faced with a challenge.
“We must work together as a team to tackle the problems in our community.
“We must understand and explain worrying topics to our friends and family to keep them safe.
“We must have fun whilst helping others”.
Following the ceremony, the new recruits will now work with their local PCSO’s throughout the school year, helping to deliver important messages such as anti-bullying, water safety and online safety.
The children will also partner up with the PCSO’s in a joint effort to tackle issues of their choosing within their communities – last year’s recruits, the mini police undertook bike marking, speed awareness, parking and litter picks.
The scheme allows the ‘mini cops’ to have their voices heard whilst Cheshire officers build upon child centred policing approaches.
Inspector Ruth Atherton, who leads on the project for Warrington Local Policing Unit, said: “After the brilliant results from the three schools that took part last year, we were really excited to invite an additional four schools to get involved this year and we are overwhelmed with their enthusiasm.
“As soon as our new recruits put those little uniforms on, they became more confident and empowered them to do something that they feel is right and stand up for that, and we’re there to support them to do it.
“’Mini cops’ is a really special project that demonstrates our efforts in improving youth and community engagement across the town. This scheme allows the children to play an active role in keeping their communities safe and be proud of what they can achieve.
“It is a joy to work on this initiative alongside residents, children, and partners, who have collectively made a positive change and will continue to keep Warrington a safer place for everyone.
“This project has opened up an opportunity for residents to engage with each other and be proud of where they live. It has ultimately made a difference to those who are part of this community.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, said: “It was a pleasure to attend the Mini Cops attestation and to see the children ready to make a real difference in their local area.
“I believe the key to positive and safe communities is a strong relationship between residents and the local policing team, so I am looking forward to hearing about the important work that our mini cops carry out.
“The children have some really crucial messages to share, and they are the future of our communities. I am confident that they will make a positive contribution to making Cheshire an even safer place.”