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Force takes on youngest recruits

06 Apr 2017 08:34 AM

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Northumbria Police is set to take on its youngest ever recruits as the force launches Northumbria Mini Police.

The scheme will see Year 5 primary school children given the opportunity to work with their local police officers and volunteer police cadets to learn more about policing.

School children have been selected from participating schools to join the scheme where they will learn more about a host of topics such as crime prevention, water safety, healthy relationships and online safety.

The Mini Police will work with their mini police team to carry out work in the community, for example carrying out surveys with residents, as well as attending some of the events police get involved in throughout the region.

And, to say thank you for their hard work they will be given the opportunity to visit the many different departments within the organisation. They will get the chance to meet Northumbria Police horses and police dogs, as well as see behind the scenes at a police station, visit custody cells and visit the communications centre - which for many is their first point of contact with police.

Today, to launch the scheme three spectacular events will take place across the force where the Mini Police will receive their uniforms - all delivered in a unique way.

In South Tyneside, the base for Northumbria Police's Marine Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) - Viking Park in Jarrow - will play host to Laygate Community School in South Shields and St Mary's Primary School in Jarrow where police divers from the Marine NPT will travel along the River Tyne on their police rib to make the special delivery.

The event will be attended by Chief Constable Steve Ashman and Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird.

The children will be given the opportunity to see the dive centre and try on some of the equipment the team uses.

In Newcastle, Etal Lane Police Station will host Westgate Hill Primary, Thomas Walling Primary and St Bede's RC Primary schools where they will be met by Police Dogs delivering their uniforms.

And, in Bedlington, St Columbus Primary in Wallsend and Riverside Primary in North Shields schools will receive their uniform on horseback from Northumbria Police's mounted section.

The Mini Police scheme was first launched by Durham Constabulary in 2011, following its success it was adopted by Merseyside Police last year, now Northumbria is excited to be launching its own scheme.

Chief Constable Steve Ashman said: "This is an absolutely fantastic scheme. We've had a Volunteer Police Cadet scheme in Northumbria for some years now and I'm immensely proud of all of our cadets and the work they do, I know they will play a crucial role in delivering the scheme and Mini Police will build on the success of the cadets.

"In fact, the cadets presented the Mini Police scheme to me a few months ago and I was hugely impressed at their conduct and professionalism. They gave a compelling presentation on how the scheme could be utilised in hard-to-reach communities, and for a group of 14-year-olds to stand up and present to a room full of police officers and staff was very impressive.

"I'm absolutely thrilled we're now going to have a scheme that takes in a younger age group and am looking forward to meeting our Mini Police and hearing about their progress."

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird DBE QC, said: "This is a brilliant opportunity for children to engage with their local communities and learn more about the role our police officers have in tackling crime and helping people who need it. They’re already showing great enthusiasm and I’m sure they will have lots of fun along the way. I hope for some of them, this is only the start  and that this project will inspire a future career with Northumbria Police."

Superintendent Sarah Pitt is a driving force behind Northumbria Police's Citizens in Policing agenda and has been integral in the Mini Police scheme from the start.

She said: "We're very excited to be launching our Mini Police today, the scheme provides a great opportunity for young children to learn about their own safety, their role within their community and how the police work with the community. It will give youngsters a voice to say what matters to them and help them to influence people around them in a positive way, not only that it will give them an insight into policing and the work we do and help give them a sense of citizenship. It will highlight the contribution they can make in our communities to make it a better place and hopefully will help them choose the right path in the future.

"Of course, there will be time for fun too and they will be able to get involved with some of the fantastic events that are held throughout the region and visit some of the different departments across the force."

Mini Police will be recognisable by their uniform consisting of a cap, waterproof jacket and hi-viz vest.

Newborough School in Hexham will also be joining the pilot and hosted an event at the school on Wednesday (April 5).

The scheme is currently being piloted in eight schools across the region. Any schools interested in participating once the pilot is complete should contact Northumbria Police's Sergeant Nicola MacGregor on 101 or email: nicola.macgregor.17@northumbria.pnn.police.uk



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