We’re sure Bobbies are getting younger these days... no wait, these are mini-police, a new pilot initiative being launched in Boston to break down the barriers between officers and youngsters.
The initiative will give 24 youngsters from Year Five at Carlton Road and Staniland Academies the chance to be involved in a two year scheme where they will learn about being part of the police force.
Those chosen to take part in the mini-police force will be kitted out with police jackets, police T-shirts, fleeces, hats and even a Bobby Bear and notebook.
The pre-launch event at Carlton Road Academy next Wednesday will see Year Four pupils from both schools take part in a CSI day, where they will solve a mystery using actual techniques such as testing ‘blood’ and dusting for fingerprints.
The youngsters will then be set a task to complete over the summer holidays and when they come back the 24 then Year Five pupils (12 from each school), will begin learning about the force - including specialist teams such as the diving team, anti-terror police and CID, bullying, stranger danger, and drink-driving.
The aim is to give youngsters the confidence to approach and trust the police.
Community Beat Manager PC Tim Newell, who is leading the project, told The Standard: “What we want is kids to run to us when there’s trouble, not run away from us. We want to build up that trust with us so when we walk into that space 400 kids want to come up and talk to us.”
“It’s building up that interaction and engagement. Making sure they’re upset we’re not coming to see them rather than worried we are.”
It is hoped the youngsters will also take part in educating their peers and others - for example by visiting care homes and giving presentations about cyber safety.
They will also be putting together scenes which will be acted out, recorded and used as part of promotional material.
As well as this East Midlands Ambulance Service and LIVES have even offered to teach the youngsters various first aid techniques, including CPR.
The young police officers could also see themselves rewarded for their hard work by accompanying police cadets and officers to various events.
If successful the project could be used in other areas of Lincolnshire.
The idea follows a similar scheme in Durham.
PC Craig Johnson, who heads up the Mini Police there, said: “The Mini Police are our ambassadors and they help us spread messages far and wide. They tackle local issues as highlighted by their own communities.
“It has been a roaring success and we are so pleased that other forces are getting involved. Best of luck to everyone.”
l Those organising the project in Boston are looking for a wooden shed for the schools, with Andy Morrice preferably wanting to see a Tardis (which in the television series Doctor Who is an old police box) installed.
These police boxes/sheds would be a place for pupils to post anonymous and confidential letters to the police with queries and concerns, which officers could follow-up on when they visit.
Anyone able to help police with this can email firstname.lastname@example.org