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Published 12th Jun 2018

Mini police officers from North Ormesby Primary Academy on the beat

Young crime fighters have been pounding the beat to keep their Middlesbrough community safe.

The budding sleuths at from Year 4 at North Ormesby Primary Academy formed their own Mini Police team in a pioneering scheme that could be repeated across the town.

The ten-strong team embarked on a six-week training programme based on a model first piloted by Durham Constabulary.

Aimed at nine- to 11-year-olds, the fun and interactive scheme promotes positive diversion from crime and anti-social behaviour and helps to build honesty and trust.

The young officers – with their own uniform of dark baseball cap and hi-vis vest - gained an insight into the opportunities and challenges of policing through active participation in local community engagement events.

At the end of the six-week course the pupils will graduate, becoming official NOPA Mini Police members, continuing in the role for the rest of the school year.

They will take part in local events and crime prevention initiatives, promote community engagement and eventually deliver what they have learned to their peers.

The school then takes over the running of the scheme through a Mini Police Morning Club’, with officers and PCSOs dropping in as often as duties allow.

Lindsey Blackburn, School Liaison Officer for Cleveland Police who has been leading the initiative, said: “The NOPA Mini Police programme is a great way of establishing strong community links, promoting our policing priorities and reducing crime.

“It challenges pupils, adds new strands to their learning and encourages respect for others, both in their community and beyond.”

Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Communities, said: “Our primary school pupils are the citizens of tomorrow, so initiatives like this give them a fantastic grounding in the things that matter in a civilised and law-abiding society.

“The programme increases their knowledge and awareness of the issues that matter, and that in turn builds confidence and aspiration.

“It’s also a great way of strengthening the relationship between our neighbourhood police teams and the local community.

“The initial feedback is overwhelmingly positive, and I’m sure this pioneering pilot in North Ormesby will become a role model for the rest of the town.”



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