Bedfordshire Police has launched a brand new initiative as part of the force’s continued commitment to engage with young people in the county.
The brand new junior police squad was launched at Putnoe Primary School yesterday (September 15) and is for children between nine and 11-years-old.
The new initiative aims to develop and maintain trust in the force, as well as educating young people in the county on important issues.
Four schools Putnoe Primary School, Queens Park Academy, St. Martin de Porres Primary School in Lewsey Farm and Brooklands Middle School in Leighton Buzzard, have already signed up to the scheme and will introduce the programme to a number of pupils from September.
Every two weeks, members of the force’s crime reduction team will attend the schools to lead a session with junior police squad members, covering topics in line with the force’s priorities including cyber-crime, hate crime, and guns and gangs.
As well as attending one of the force’s own crime prevention initiatives during the year, the squad will carry out duties such as litter-picking in their own communities.
Each of the young volunteers will wear a uniform to perform their duties, which consists of a polo shirt and cap adorned with the junior police squad logo and Bedfordshire Police crest.
Sergeant Ben Dimmock, who is leading on the project, said: “This is a really exciting new project to work on, and we hope it will help us build relationships and trust with children early on, so they know that we are a force that works hard and has their best interests, as well as the best interests of their community, at heart.
“It’s a really fun way to introduce young people to policing, and we hope to be able to expand the programme to more schools if the first year proves to be a success.”
Gill Peck, headteacher of Putnoe Primary School, said: “We believe sustainability is all about incorporating creativity, managing risks and having the persistence to see things through.
“We know that our partnership with Bedfordshire Police will help us achieve this and give our children access to those life skills that will support them to become the best they can possibly be.”