Cheshire Constabulary has sworn in a wave of budding new police recruits as part of the Mini Cops scheme, which has been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Action Fund and money seized from the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
The ceremonies were hosted at the Policing Museum in Warrington and saw 37 students from Hartford Primary School enrolled into the Mini Cops programme. The new recruits will work with their local PCSO’s throughout the school year and will help to deliver important messages about road safety, littering and vandalism. The Mini Cops will also be introduced to different departments of the Constabulary to learn more about the different career options available.
The Commissioner’s Community Action Fund has been able to support the purchase of a uniform for each member, including Mini Cops branded hi-vis jackets and matching caps to ensure the children meet the high uniform standards of the Constabulary.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, said:
“It was great to be involved with the attestation of Northwich’s first Mini Cop recruits. The students upheld the high standards of the Constabulary when in their uniform and they seemed raring to get out in the community and start making a real difference.
“The Mini Cops have a great relationship with the officers from Cheshire Constabulary and it is fantastic to see parents and the wider community supporting the project too. A priority in my Police and Crime Plan is to improve public confidence in policing and the rapport built between the local policing team, the schools and the wider community is truly contributing to this.”
The scheme allows the students to have their voices heard in the community and offers Cheshire officers the opportunity to develop upon child centred policing approaches.
Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant for Northwich, Leanne Brundrett said:
“I am delighted that the Mini Cops scheme has been launched in Northwich and the enthusiasm of the students, teachers, parents and local community has been wonderful.
“The children have some crucial messages to share and have some really innovative ways to do so, I am confident that they are going to have a hugely positive affect on the local area. It is great to see the confidence and empowerment they get from putting on their uniform.
“We already have some exciting projects planned with the Mini Cops. We will soon be visiting the Northwich Rotary Club together as a way to target anti-social behaviour concerns in the area and develop relationships between different community groups. This is just one way that scheme allows children to be an active part of their community and be proud of the difference they make.”
During the ceremonies the children were sworn in as Mini Cops by Superintendent Gareth Wrigley and Chief Inspector Leeroy Moss, the Mayor of Northwich and local Councillor for Hartford, Jane Taylor also attended to celebrate the new intake.
Police Community Support Officer, Karen Nixon, said:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this project. The enthusiasm coming for these children is something to be proud of. They will all make fantastic mini police and I can’t wait to work with them.”
Headteacher of Hartford Primary School, Mair Fairweather, said:
“As Headteacher I couldn’t be more proud of the way these Year 5 children have taken the application process to become part of the Mini Police so seriously. They completed an application form then attended an interview with Leanne, Karen and Simon, to progress to Attestation at Warrington Police station on the 14th and 21st March.
“To have 37 children of this age representing Northwich and our school community is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are thrilled to have been asked to take part. The next 12 months of the Mini Police project is something that these children will remember for the rest of their lives, and hopefully inspire some of them to become Police professionals in the future.
“I am incredibly grateful to the Parish Council for their donation and to parents of the Mini Police who have offered support and a keen interest in the Attestation evenings!”