Mini Police Launches in Gwent
Today, Thursday 26th October sees the launch of our ‘Heddlu Bach’ Mini Police Officer scheme in Gwent. This is the first scheme of its kind in Wales and follows an engagement programme created & developed by PC Craig Johnson from Durham Police for children aged between 9-11 which has already been launched in Durham, Merseyside, Northumbria, Thames Valley and Lincolnshire.
The Gwent Police scheme was launched this afternoon at a special ceremony at the University of South Wales, Newport.
Three schools from Newport have been chosen to be the first to adopt the scheme with 58 pupils from Millbrook Primary, Ringland Primary and Pill Primary being among the first to become ‘Mini Officers’.
The pupils, who have their own branded Heddlu Bach uniform and all nominated themselves for the positions and faced an application process and in some cases an interview. The mini officers will be going along to see training on things such as drill, public order training, our Force Control Room and Taser training (strictly from a distance!).
They will have 6 one hour long lessons delivered to them throughout the year by our School Liaison officers and will be getting involved with community events such as community litter picks and looking at issues raised by the community ‘Your Voice’ process. They will also be working to educate their peers on issues such as anti-social behaviour around Halloween and Bonfire night.
All pupils were today presented with a certificate and received a Heddlu Bach ‘warrant card’ at the special ceremony by Chief Constable Julian Williams, Police and Crime Commissioner Jeff Cuthbert and Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education.
Chief Constable Julian Williams said: “We are so pleased to be launching this worthwhile scheme in Gwent. This is a great opportunity for the mini officers to help make a difference within their community and to educate their fellow pupils in their schools. This scheme will give them a voice to feedback what matters most to them and they can help influence those around them in a positive way. It’s fantastic that these pupils nominated themselves and wanted to get involved and I’d like to congratulate them all. We’re hoping they will love their time as a Gwent ‘Mini’ Police Officer.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert said: “My office were delighted to work with colleagues at both Durham and Gwent Police to introduce this exciting initiative to Gwent. We are thrilled about the potential of this programme and we see it as a great way of building trust and confidence in the police from a young age by directly involving and engaging with children in the communities we serve. The Mini Police initiative will provide a real taste of policing for children at an early age and will add value to our already well-established Gwent Police Volunteer Police Cadets programme. We have seen the positive impact this programme has had in other parts of the country with regards to building positive relationships between children and police officers. We really do have a golden opportunity here to inspire the next generation of police officers for Gwent.”
The Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams said: “I’m so pleased that schools in Newport will be taking part in the Mini Police Scheme. The scheme allows children to engage with the local police and get involved in a number of community engagement events. I am sure the children taking part will emerge with more confidence and become great ambassadors for both Gwent Constabulary and their local schools.”