More Runcorn schools to adopt Mini Police scheme

Alert message sent 16/03/2021 11:45:00

Information sent on behalf of Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire

The successful Mini Police scheme is set to be rolled-out to two more primary schools in Runcorn thanks to funding from police and crime commissioner (PCC) David Keane’s Community Police Fund.

Hill View and Weston Point Primary Schools are the latest to adopt the scheme which aims to engage primary school children to make their communities safer.

It was originally brought to Cheshire in 2018 by PCSO Paul Barker who piloted the national scheme at Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School in Halton Brook.

Since then, it’s grown across the county with Mini Police schemes now also running in Warrington and Wilmslow.

As part of the scheme, pupils support officers and PCSO to tackle local issues that have been highlighted by their own communities as well as attending award ceremonies and events as ambassadors for the force.

They are given a police uniform that’s loosely based on a regular police uniform, so they will look the part and feel like they are part of the policing family.

PCC David Keane said: “The Mini Police scheme presents a fantastic opportunity to make our communities stronger by giving young people a positive experience of policing.

“It is an opportunity to help set morals, values and embed the importance of supporting your community at an early age, and how being a good citizen can support the whole community. 

“We’ve seen how well it works in other areas and helps reduce anti-social behaviour and breaks down barriers between young people and police officers. I’m pleased that my Community Police Fund can support another two Runcorn schools to come on board.”

The children will work with local PCSO Louise Croft and school staff to identify three priorities for the Beechwood and Weston Village areas and come up with initiatives to tackle key issues. This could be issues such as litter picking or speeding. 

PCSO Croft said: “Mini Police will help build trust between the police and the local community. It will help to build confidence in children and develop their sense of social justice. It will also help them to problem solve by giving them the tools to create solutions, giving them a sense of achievement. 

“It will help the children to feel part of the police family and make them aware that they are making a real difference in their community, making it a better place for everyone to live.”

The children will be sworn into their new roles and will pledge their commitment to the role by reading pledges that they have written themselves. 

The Community Police Fund is a new fund which has been provided to all 122 policing communities in Cheshire. Community police officers and PCSO have been working with local residents to develop bids of up-to £1,000 to fund projects which address local issues. 

The fund has been developed using money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA) 2002. It also links directly to the recently launched initiative to increase police visibility in every community by providing a dedicated Police Constable and PCSO for all 122 areas.
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Caroline Tozer (Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, Head of Engagement and Policy, Police and Crime Commissioner)

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