From today, children from three schools across the county are taking part in a new initiative as we launch Mini Police in Derbyshire.
The schemed is designed to give young children the opportunity to learn about their safety, their role within their community and how the police work to keep them safe.
Children at Landau Forte Academy Moorhead in Alvaston, Spire Juniors in Chesterfield, and Peartree Juniors in Normanton have been presented with Mini Police hi-vis vests with the force crest on it, a Mini Police cap and pocketbook.
They will be visited weekly by their local PSCOs and partner agencies, such as Derbyshire Fire and Rescue, RNLI and the Army and Air cadets, who will be providing classroom input and external community projects.
This pilot scheme is aimed at children age 9-11, in years five and six, and focuses on the contribution young people can make into our communities to make it a better place to be.
This is not based on academic ability but is based on children who will enthusiastically join in with all activities, and are in locations where they may not always have these opportunities open to them.
Sessions will be on a wide range of subjects such as water safety, healthy relationships, online safety and many other topics. They will be interactive and tailored to suit each separate Mini Police group and the community they live in.
It is then part of their job to tell the rest of the school all about what they have learned – whether this is on a newsletter, noticeboard, website or even in assembly – they are the Mini Police for their school and very important in helping Derbyshire Constabulary to spread important messages about keeping safe.
The Mini Police groups will then come out into the community with the Mini Police team. This could be performing speeding enforcement, carrying out surveys with residents to help improve the area, and visiting local care homes.
Sarah Robbins from the force’s Citizens in Policing team, who is leading on the project, said: “As a thank you for them doing these jobs we will arrange an exciting visit by some of the different departments within the police, so they can learn more about what police officers do.
“This might be a visit from the police dogs, Roads Policing, DFRS or visiting HQ or their local Police Stations and putting into practice some of the educational content they have learnt by identifying local water dangers or areas of anti-social behaviour.
“We are looking forward to getting the whole force involved in this fantastic new youth engagement opportunity and will be posting updates on our new Instagram page alongside our more established cadet posts.”
At the end of the pilot and once evaluated, the goal for the next five-ten years is to roll it out across the whole of the county.