Mini Police officers experience life at headquarters
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Almost 90 children from three primary schools got a view of policing with a tour of police headquarters at Enderby to mark the end of their Mini Police experience.
The Year Five children have been taking part in the pilot of the Mini Police scheme since January, and this week marks the end of the 20-week curriculum.
Mini Police sessions, which took place each week as part of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, are designed to introduce children to a positive experience of policing, get them involved in the local community and also offer age appropriate safety awareness.
During their visit to headquarters on Tuesday (27 June) the children got to visit the dog unit, and see Reggie, a general-purpose police search dog, in action and a demonstration of the force drone – and have a class photo from the sky!
They had the opportunity to sit on a police motorbike and see and hear the sirens, and have a look inside a Tactical Support Team police van, as well as a Search and Rescue boat.
All the children got certificates for taking part in the project, and two from each school won Mini Police Officer of the year, a recognition of their engagement with the project over the last 20-weeks.
Parth, 10, from Bridge Junior School said: “I’ve loved taking part in the Mini Police programme. I’ve loved the projects we’ve taken part in, including the collection we did for Action Homeless and helping others.
“I would recommend it to everyone – those who get the chance to take part, should.
“Visiting the dogs has been my favourite visit at the station, I’ve loved it.”
Sgt Marina Waka, Parth, Chief Supt Adam Slonecki
One of the community projects the school have been involved in this year is a collection of toiletries for Action Homeless, a homeless charity based in the city. The children raised awareness in the school community about their project, and asked for donations each day.
Elle Warren is the head of Year Five at Bridge Junior, and said: “What we’ve seen from the children throughout the Mini Police programme has been remarkable, with an improvement in their behaviour and attitude; they’ve been very engaged with the programme and took their oath and Mini Police values very seriously.
“It’s given them the opportunity to do things they’d never have had the chance to do without Mini Police and I know they haven’t taken it for granted.
“I’d jump at the chance to take part again, I think it’s been invaluable for these young people.”
Sgt Marina Waka is the lead for Mini Police. She said: “I’m so proud of the work these young people have done over the last 20 weeks, learning about the values, roles and responsibilities of being a police officer, stay safe online, healthy relationships and identifying issues affecting your own communities – and putting plans in place to help address them.
“They’ve given back to communities, visiting elderly people in care homes and local community centres.
“They’ve been wonderful ambassadors for Leicestershire Police, their school and the local community.
“To the Mini Police officers – you’ve shared what you have learnt and tried your best in everything, been kind and helpful towards others and supporting everyone to achieve success and worn your uniform with pride and worked hard to honour your oath as a Mini Police Officer…thank you.”
Chief Superintendent Adam Slonecki said: “This is the first year Mini Police has run, and it’s been great to see all the projects the children have been involved in across their communities, building the trust and confidence in the police and the force.
“It’s important we inspire the future generations to play their part in society and to care for each other and running projects like this helps.”
The three pilot schools are: Bridge Junior School, Leicester; Thringstone Primary School, Thringstone; and Stokes Wood Primary School, New Parks.