SCHOOL children from Warrington have become “bobbies” on the beat to help keep Bewsey and Whitecross a nice place for residents to live.
When on duty the mini police officers will patrol a subway plagued by anti-social behaviour, litter pick and monitor car parking. They will be supported by the police and local voluntary group ‘trolley angels’ who will assist in removing any litter or graffiti to nip any issues in the bud.
The 30 children – from Sacred Heart RC Primary St Barnabas CE Primary and Evelyn Street Primary – were officially sworn in before taking up their duties after a ceremony at the Museum for Policing in Cheshire.
All dressed in their police uniforms the children collectively said the attestation and were each handed a certificate by Superintendent Mike Evans. The ceremony was watched by parents, guardians and teachers.
The initiative was part of the government’s Safer Streets Fund which was set up to tackle burglary and acquisitive crime.
A £550,000 grant was secured by the Police and Crime Commissioner to prevent crimes occurring in the Bewsey and Whitecross area. The funding has been used to purchase home security kits to all residents living in the area and to build a community allotment.
It also led to artwork being featured on a subway, located on Wellfield Street, after it was plagued by anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and graffiti.
The children from the three local schools all contributed to the idea of a mural which is seen as a “walk in Sankey Valley’” creation featuring animals, flowers and other local sights associated with the town.
Inspector Ruth Atherton, who has led on the safer Streets project for Warrington Local Policing Unit, said: “The enthusiasm coming from these children who want to play their part in making this area of the town a safe and nice place for their neighbours is something we should all look up to and be proud of.
“I am certain they will be fantastic mini police and I can’t wait to see them carrying out their duties.
“The painting of the subway was a really special project because it came from the heart of the children who will now be patrolling it as part of their policing duties.
“The aim of the project was to protect homes from burglaries but it has been so much more than that. It has opened up an opportunity for residents to engage with each other and be proud of where they live. It has ultimately made a difference to those who are part of this community.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this project alongside residents, children and partners who have collectively made a positive change and will continue to keep it a safe and nice place for everyone.”