Up to 100 schools in Lincolnshire could be following in Boston’s footsteps next year after a £100,000 grant was given to the mini-police project.
Boston’s Carlton Road Academy and Staniland Academy have been leading the way in the scheme which sees Year Five pupils from the schools spending time with local officers, engaging and helping the community and meeting staff from the police and other organisations.
Now the project has seen £100,000 funding awarded from a Home Office Police transformation grant.
Inspector Andy Morrice, project lead for the mini-police in Boston, said: “What started as a Boston-led pilot has led to such success, that we have now been recognised as an unmissable opportunity for the county.
“The scheme has been an unbelievable success. From working with the two schools – Carlton Road Academy and Staniland Primary – we have seen huge commitment and excitement by both the children and the parents.”
Youngsters taking part have receeved a number of freebies, including their very own uniform and Bobby Bear notebook.
The children also learn about key issues such as bullying and online safety.
The scheme has also seen the children to take part in projects such as litter picking, presenting cheques to charities, making Christmas cards, and leading an honour guard for the Remembrance parades, as well as being given the opportunity to interview the Assistant Chief Constable of Lincolnshire police, Shaun West.
Some of the children earlier this year took a trip to London, where they visited Downing Street, met Members of Parliament and took a trip on the London Eye.
The latest funding boost will see the project not only expand to schools across the county, but the aim is also to up the range of activities.
This will include creating videos regarding bullying, stranger danger, and first aid.
Plans include opportunities for the kids to take part in activities such as selling lighting to keep themselves safe on bikes, bag packing at supermarkets, first aid training, and trips to parliament and RAF Coningsby.
“I am delighted that this exciting engagement project can now be expanded to East Lindsey, Lincoln and West Lindsey, and the North and South Kestevens, and the youngsters from these areas can now get the same opportunities to become part of the mini-police.,” said Insp Morrice.
“I want to personally thank the residents of Boston; the parents of the school children, the schools and of course the kids themselves for taking this opportunity to their hearts.”
Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West said: “I am immensely proud of our mini-police, this is such a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with children and for them to learn what we do and help the communities they live in.
“Having been successful in our bid for additional funding means we can work with even more children including possibly some who are taught at home.
“From attending the Houses of Parliament, working through a whodunit exercise to packing bags in support of the local hospice, the opportunities each member of our mini-police has had gives them experiences and opportunities to broaden their horizons and allow them to begin to think about the wider responsibilities each member of our community has.”
The force says the expansion of the mini police will start immediately, with 10 schools per area being consulted to take part in a taster day.
An initial selection of the mini police schools will then take place during January 2018, with the remaining schools chosen before the February half-term.
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