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Mini Police at Knowle West school have visit from Police and Crime Commissioner

Main image: Mini Police from Oasis Academy Connaught taking part in a drill with Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford. Picture courtesy of Avon and Somerset Police.

Mini Police at Oasis Academy Connaught received a visit from Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Shelford last week – who came to find out more about the police engagement programme.

And they were able to take part in a Speed Gun Operation on a Knowle West street where residents have previously reported speeding traffic.

The Mini Police scheme is aimed at children aged eight to 11-years-old and is part of the National Volunteer Police Cadets programme.

It provides a “fun and interactive way to introduce children to a positive experience of policing” and to get them involved in the local community.  

During his visit, the PCC answered pupils’ questions about his role and found out why they enjoy being part of the scheme.

He was then taken by the students to Creswicke Road where they completed a ‘Mini Police Speed Gun Operation’, with the help of Neighbourhood Police Officers – which saw them detecting cars going over the speed limit.

The Officers then stopped the cars and the Mini Police read out a short paragraph to the drivers, reminding them that the speed limit for the road is 20mph.  

Carrying out a Speed Gun Operation in Creswicke Road. Picture Avon and Somerset Police.

PCC Mark Shelford said: “It was an absolute joy to meet with the Mini Police. It was brilliant to see them out in the community helping to keep residents safe by using a speed gun and reminding drivers not to speed. 

 “The enthusiasm of the staff and local Neighbourhood Policing Officers who joined them was fabulous and this was reflected by the Mini Police who, despite the cold, merrily went about their business. Well done all!” 

Avon and Somerset Police are currently reviewing the Mini Police scheme to include some “exciting new developments” – and are opening applications this spring for schools wanting to join in September 2022.

Oasis Academy Connaught was the first school in Avon and Somerset to be involved in the scheme – with their initial recruits joining in October 2017.

Community Project Worker at Oasis Academy Connaught, Sammy Ball, says it has brought huge benefits to those taking part.

She says: “The Mini Police programme has changed the children’s attitude towards the police, taught them how they keep us safe and more about career opportunities within the police.

“Sadly lots of children see the police in a negative light due to personal experiences but this has changed their perspective. This programme is outstanding and I would encourage any other schools to get involved as Avon and Somerset go the extra mile to really make a difference.”

One of the Year 5 pupils involved in the scheme at Oasis Connaught says: “I love being in the Mini Police as we have lots of fun whilst helping others. I feel really lucky to be picked and I am glad as I would love to be a police officer when I am older.”

Schools who want to join the Mini Police programme should visit: https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/apply/mini-police/