Merseyside's Police Commissioner has joined with the Force and its partners to proudly introduce the Mini Police - Merseyside Police's newest and youngest recruits.
The scheme will be launched with a spectacular event at Hatton Hill Primary School in Litherland and will involve children from Years 5 and 6 of Hatton Hill Primary School and St Monica's Primary School in Bootle.
40 children from the schools have been chosen as our first recruits and issued with their Mini Police uniforms, as they embark upon this fun and interactive volunteering opportunity.
During the programme, the children will learn about the police service and be given a number of opportunities to develop and make the communities in which they live stronger and safer. Throughout the year, the Police and schools will work closely with the National Police Air Support (NPAS), the National Association of Retired Police Officers, and Sefton Council, to ensure that the children get a variety of learning experiences.
The scheme was developed by Durham Constabulary in 2011, when PC Craig Johnston became the Beat Officer within the Catchgate area in County Durham. PC Johnson said: "Our own Mini Police have made a huge difference to Durham in the last few years, helping us with driving enforcement operations, attending major events and always representing the force with pride and honour. They may be called the Mini Police but we are growing fast, and now have Mini Police in around 70 schools. I am so pleased that Merseyside Police are launching their own version, which I'm sure will be a great success."
Merseyside Police Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: "The Mini Police will be true ambassadors for their schools, community and for Merseyside Police. We are looking forward to taking them on this special journey, which will provide them with some fantastic opportunities and life skills to help themselves and their communities grow stronger."
Merseyside’s Police and Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “What a wonderful initiative! It will help Merseyside Police to continue to improve and strengthen the perceptions young people and children have of the police service.
“By joining this new ‘Mini-Police’ scheme, these youngsters will be able to get a real insight into the work of the police and, from a very early age, learn new skills. They will be able to play their part in some fantastic events. It is also an opportunity to encourage children to learn about crime prevention so as they grow up they will know how to keep themselves, their belongings and their homes safe.
“The children who are joining as Mini-Police today could very well become the police force of the future."
Anna James, Headteacher at Hatton Hill Primary School, said: "We are very excited and value the opportunity to be working with Merseyside Police on this amazing project. It is important that our children learn how to contribute to the wider community so they can develop the skills needed to be responsible citizens. Mini Police will allow them to achieve this in a unique and practical way.
"By reaching out to our school, Merseyside Police have demonstrated that they are committed to helping children learn how to be a positive force within the community. Mini Police will most definitely be a fantastic learning opportunity. I am sure the project will also be great fun for the many children involved!"
“We’re delighted to be a part of this Mini-Police launch event today and look forward to helping the children to learn about policing both on the ground and from the air” said Jayne Kidd, a Tactical Flight Officer for the National Police Air Service and Mini Police Lead for NPAS.
“Having worked with schools across County Durham on this initiative over the past few months, I know how much the children will gain from taking part and what huge benefits it will bring to them, to their families and to their wider community.”
You can share and join the conversation on Mini Police: Twitter @minipoliceR
Take a look at the launch of the Mini-Police footage from the helicopter below: