Since September 2017, St. Christopher’s Catholic Primary School have been a part of the Merseyside Mini Police Programme. Each year, children from Year 5, who are interested in volunteering, have to write letters of application to join. We then choose ten new recruits to join the ten from the previous year, who are now Year 6. The children involved are a credit to our school and their community. They are making a real difference and live out our Mission Statement of ‘Caring, Learning and Inspiring’ on a daily basis. We feel that they would be extremely worthy winners of the Contribution to the Community Award. When we were approached by Merseyside Police to be a part of the project, we felt that this was an invaluable opportunity to try to challenge any negative attitudes towards the police and develop a stronger partnership between the police and our community.
The principal aim of the Mini Police project is to create a fun and interactive volunteering opportunity for children age 9-11 years old. The project is a means of introducing important messages to young people in a positive, engaging way and to enable young people to have a confident voice and an enjoyable experience associated with policing. During the project, the children take part in at least three activities each year, however through the strong relationships developed with our two Community Police Officers (PCSOs), St. Christopher’s Mini Police are participating in activities every few weeks. The children then share these events with the rest of the school through leading assemblies, posting to our school Twitter account and in our weekly newsletter, constantly aiming to Inspire the rest of their school and local community.
The children have learned so much during visits to various Merseyside Police training grounds and have loved seeing the helicopter land and visiting the Mounted Section of the police force. They have also provided a welcome procession for families from Claire House for the CBBC ‘Dengineers’ programme and have spent time with Criminology students from
George Mason University, Virginia, USA to discuss the programme. However, the main bulk of their experiences have been trying to make a difference to their local community.
And they are a constant presence around school; being fantastic role models, emphasising the good work the police do and Inspiring many St. Christopher’s pupils to become future Mini Police and perhaps members of the police force as adults.
“By being in the Mini Police, I have learned that the police aren’t here to punish people. They are here to help us and keep us safe.” Olivia Y6
“Being in the Mini Police is the best experience of my life. I have had loads of great experiences and have helped others.” Courtney Y6
“The children with the speed guns outside school, were an excellent deterrent to parents parking carelessly or dangerously and people were obviously slowing down as they saw them.” Year 6 Parent
“I couldn’t be prouder of every single child we have in the Mini Police programme. Seeing them grow in confidence and having fun is my favourite part of my job. St. Christopher’s is such an amazing school, we are super lucky to work with them and the bond we’ve developed with the children is amazing.” PCSO Stacey
“Our students had a wonderful time meeting your Mini Police representatives. As such, my students have elected to mail your school the George Mason University flag.” Kevin Fornshill Department of Criminology, Law and Society, George Mason University, USA
We have been absolutely delighted with the Mini Police programme and the impact it has had on the children involved and the wider community. We feel that our children are meeting the aims of the project – in particular; developing enhanced trust in the Police, developing their understanding of citizenship and their own self esteem and hopefully reducing future demand for the police. This is hopefully a long-lasting project which will make a real difference to the current and future community of Speke. Our Mini Police and their peers are the community’s future teenagers and adults, who we hope will make a positive difference to where they live and work.