Merseyside Police, the Office of the Police Commissioner and our partners are today proud to present our newest recruits on the beat, as 10 new Mini Police put on their shiny, new uniforms to become ambassadors for their school and local community.
The children, from Year 5 at Broad Square Primary School in Norris Green, will be introduced at the launch event this morning. To welcome them, the National Air Police Support (NPAS) helicopter will fly low over the school, and the Mini Police and their school friends will then get the chance to meet the police horses and police dogs, before looking around vehicles with officers and putting some of their equipment to the test.
Each child has already been presented with their Mini Police uniform, consisting of a baseball cap, polo shirt, fleece and high-visibility vest.
In the coming months, the newest recruits to the Merseyside Police family will take part in a number of learning initiatives and have some fun along the way. The scheme has already been widely recognised for promoting positive engagement between police and communities, as the Mini Police represent their schools beyond the school gates.
Merseyside Police launched the scheme last September, with 40 children from Years 5 and 6 of Hatton Hill Primary School and St Monica's Primary School in Bootle, who have since taken part in a wide variety of activities. These have included road safety initiatives with Roads Policing officers, where they stopped and gave advice to drivers close to their schools about the dangers of speeding; delivering assemblies to their schools about Halloween and Bonfire Night safety; and meeting and greeting dignitaries at the Trip of a Lifetime prize-giving event.
Two of our Mini Police also gave the Chief Constable Andy Cooke his toughest ever interview before Christmas, an in-depth grilling about police issues which would have made Jeremy Paxman proud.
Mr Paul Kinsella, Head Teacher at St Monica's, said: "The opportunity to represent St Monica's throughout Merseyside is fabulous. The Mini Police have achieved a huge amount for young people and the experience will set a culture which they will take into their teenage years."
Mrs Anna James, Head Teacher at Hatton Hill, said: "We are thoroughly enjoying seeing the children engaging with the public and learning that the police are a force for good in society."
The scheme was originally developed by Durham Constabulary in 2011, when PC Craig Johnson 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."
Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Julie Cooke said: "The Mini Police are true ambassadors for their schools, the community and for Merseyside Police. We are looking forward to taking our new recruits on this special journey, which will provide them with some fantastic opportunities and life skills to help themselves and their communities grow stronger.
"The first two intakes from Sefton have learnt so much and are an absolute credit to their schools. I'm sure Broad Square will represent the Norris Green community with the same energy and passion."
Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner Sue Murphy said: “I’ve been bowled over by the enthusiasm, energy and professionalism that the young people from Hatton Hill and St Monica’s Primary Schools have brought to our Mini Police scheme.
“They have represented the Force and their schools brilliantly and their families and communities should be very proud. It’s great that Merseyside Police are now in a position to be able to expand this scheme and help more young people to get involved with the police from a young age. I warmly welcome Broad Square Primary School to this initiative and I look forward to meeting their students over the coming months.”
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Take a look at a video from today's event below: