Main image: New Mini Police recruits outside Oasis Academy Connaught. Image courtesy of Avon and Somerset Police.
Children at Oasis Academy Connaught have become the first in Avon and Somerset to be given a taste of policing at an early age – as part of a new scheme.
The Year 5 pupils at Oasis Academy Connaught were sworn in as Mini Police on October 17.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Alecto Shyne said: “The idea of the Mini Police is to build relationships with children at a young age, give them an insight into what policing is all about, and engage with them so that they see us as friends who are part of their communities, rather than people to be suspicious of…”
Executive Principal of Oasis Academy Connaught, George Franks said: “Today has been a fantastic event with our friends and partners at Avon and Somerset Police…
“The scheme is clearly going to give our young people some great experiences over the next year, and we are hopeful this pilot scheme grows into something bigger across other local schools.”
The first 15 pupils to take part in Bristol were selected through an interview process. During their time in the Mini Police, they will take part in a range of activities and trips, which will help to develop their understanding of the police, as well as to build links within their community.
This will include working with two local residential homes, Southlands and Orchard House. The children will also learn about fire safety from Avon Fire and Rescue, and work towards a reward of a tour of the police firearms training school in Portishead.
Lexi, aged 9 said: “I’m so happy to be in the Mini Police because now I can help the community and make sure people are doing the right things.”
Samantha Lippett, whose 10-year-old daughter Chloe is in the first intake said: “I think it’s an amazing idea. It gives them an insight into what the police do and then as they get older, they will appreciate that the police are here to help us.”
The scheme is already being run in a number of other police forces across the country – and if successful will be rolled out to other schools in Avon and Somerset.