Derbyshire Constabulary’s youngest recruits have made a great start in the Mini Police.
Pupils from three schools are taking part in the scheme, which 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.
Pupils from Pear Tree Junior School in Pear Tree, Spire Junior School in Chesterfield and Landau Forte Academy Moorhead in Alvaston have spent their first seven weeks in the programme learning how they can make a difference to their communities – just like an adult police officer does.
The weekly visits have covered random act of kindness, teaching them the values of public service, as well as getting to know the Force’s principles and priorities.
Several activities around Christmas time helped pupils to develop their sense of civic duty, including making Christmas cards and singing carols for people who might be experiencing loneliness.
Each session is interactive and tailored to suit the separate Mini Police groups and the community they live in.
This half term the Mini Police will take a hands-on approach to learning about road safety, carrying out operations close to their schools to target speeding. They will have a visit from Derbyshire Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit with the chance to see one of the famous ‘Traffic Cops’ cars up close.
They will also cover fire safety with the help of Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, with a visit from a fire engine completing an exciting half term.
Sarah Robbins from the force’s Citizens in Policing team, who is leading on the project, said: “It was a fantastic first half term for our first recruits to the Mini Police.
“I hope they have enjoyed the chance to get involved in something different and to learn some really important life lessons about helping others and keeping themselves safe.
“This is just one part of the work we do to engage with our communities in Derbyshire, to continue to build good relationships and make sure we really are policing on behalf of local people.”
The pilot scheme, which is open to pupils aged 9-11, is not based on academic ability but is for children who will enthusiastically join in with all activities, and are in locations where they may not always have these opportunities open to them.
It is part of the pupils’ 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 are very important in helping Derbyshire Constabulary to spread messages about keeping safe.
At the end of the pilot the scheme will be evaluated, and the goal for the next five to ten years is to roll it out across the whole of the county.
You can keep up to date of the work of the Mini Police, and our other youth engagement work, on Instagram by following @derbyshireyouthfocus.