Supported by Four Primary Schools
On Wednesday 6th July, Stephenson Way School hosted the launch of the Mini Police project in Newton Aycliffe.
There was great excitement among the children as the Police helicopter hovered above and landed on the school field.
Durham Constabulary and Great Aycliffe and Middridge Partnership (GAMP) joined forces to launch the Mini Police project with Area Budget Funding supporting the introduction of Mini Police Officers in four schools: St Francis, Sugar Hill, Woodham Burn and Stephenson Way.
The Mini Police is an innovative, school-based programme designed to increase engagement between Durham Constabulary and children and their families. The initiative has been running since 2011 and is exclusively for Primary School children aged 9-11 years (academic years 5 & 6).
The children wear a Mini Police Uniform to perform their duties. Typically, the children volunteer to participate in a variety of events.
They could be Community led Initiatives: Projects nominated by the children, with them taking ownership in tackling local community issues e.g. Speedwatch, Litter picking etc. Force led Initiatives: Planned by Durham Constabulary throughout the year, supported by the children through pro-active community engagement e.g. Bikewise, Durham Miners Gala etc.
Duties can include giving out leaflets, directions, fundraising, delivering force messages in a fun way. Reward Events: Visit to HQ (including Control Centre, Armoury, Tour of HQ Building, Visit to Dog Section and Tea with the Chief Constable).
The Mini Police launch saw the recruitment of the 750th Mini Police Officer. To commemorate this achievement, Ron Hogg, the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC) for County Durham and Darlington with Deputy Lieutenant Mr Simon Still attended the launch.
Additional funding has also been secured from Great Aycliffe Town Council (GATC) through their Youth Council. The funding from GAMP and GATC will be used to purchase 80 Mini Police Uniforms and help with transport costs.
Brian Riley, GAMP Coordinator, said: “Children’s encounters with the police can have a lasting effect on how they view and engage with them as adults. I’m hopeful that projects like the Mini Police will help develop long term relationships between the community and the Police”.
Newton Press sponsored and printed badges and promotional signs for the scheme. Our Partners Star Radio helped in advertising the event and Presenter Louise Fewster (above) helped distribute badges
Local Police Officer Craig Johnson with the logo sign and mascot.
Deputy Lord Lieutenant Simon Still congratulates Mini Cops
Keira Whiting the 750th Mini Cop recruit with Police commissioner Ron Hogg and School representative Ken Fox.