A project which aims to teach children about the different roles within the police force and provide them with the opportunity to discuss and explore crime prevention issues of their choice, is launching this week.
The Mini Police Scheme, a Community Safety Partnership project between South Wales Police and the Council, will be rolled out to 22 primary schools across the city. It will also help develop a greater understanding of the challenges the police face in local areas and how children can help.
Schools will work with a team of PCSO’s who will deliver a range of sessions including an introduction to careers in the Police force and investigation of a crime prevention topic. Each school will have a Mini Police Team of around eight to ten pupils who have successfully applied for a place.
The teams, alongside their local PCSO’s, will help deliver lessons on key themes before using the skills and knowledge they’ve gained from the project, to develop their own ideas and address issues or concerns specific to their school. These might include anti-social behaviour, bullying, internet safety or drug and alcohol awareness.
Children will be encouraged to raise awareness of their chosen topics in a variety of ways such as creating videos, competitions, writing plays and designing posters.
A launch event held at Adamsdown Primary School today, (Thursday 11 April) was attended by Inspector Gary Evans from South Wales Police and Deputy Leader of Cardiff Council and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry.
Inspector Gary Evans, who has overseen the roll-out in Cardiff, said: “The Mini Police programme has already made a great difference in other areas of South Wales and it’s great to see it being introduced in Cardiff with the support of the local authority.
“This scheme allows children to engage with the local police. It breaks down barriers and encourages team work, as well as the sharing of important safety and crime prevention information.
“A big thank you to those schools who have got on board, and of course all the young pupils who have taken such an interest in the Mini Police and helping to keep Cardiff safe.”
Cllr Sarah Merry said: “This scheme provides children with an insight into the diverse work of the police and an understanding of the importance of these roles. It also provides an opportunity for them to talk about issues that are important to them.
“We know that listening to the ideas of children and encouraging them to communicate and problem-solve, can have a positive impact on their school lives and wider communities. This project contributes to Cardiff’s commitment to becoming a Child Friendly City, where the views and priorities of children are at the heart of decision making.”
This partnership project is also part of the Cardiff Commitment which aims to ensure that all young people in Cardiff secure a job, so that they reach their potential and contribute to the economic growth of the city.
Employers such as South Wales Police pledge to work in partnership with schools and education providers, to connect children and young people to a range of opportunities available in the world of work.
Councillor Merry added: “The Cardiff Commitment has helped reduce the number of young people who are not in education, employment and training, and projects such as the Mini Police Scheme will assist in inspiring children and young people, opening their eyes to the careers and opportunities available to them.”
The Mini Police Scheme is supported by the Community Safety Leadership Board, a panel with senior representations from Cardiff Council, South Wales Police, The Police and Crime Commissioner, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Probation.