YOUNGSTERS have embarked on a five-month long scheme designed to educate them about the important role police play in the community.
Launched by Cumbria Police at Lindale Village Hall, the Junior PSCO scheme is being run in the South Lakeland area for the first time after a successful number of years operating in the west of the county.
The project will see 20 children from Flookburgh, Grange and Cartmel primary schools attend a wide-range of events organised by police and partner agencies.
They will learn vital skills such as first aid while having a summer to never forget.
The selection process was conducted through local schools, where youngsters from years five and six designed posters on what their own community means to them.
Inspector Jon Sherlock said: “The purpose of the scheme is to encourage good citizenship and promote pride in the community.
“The scheme will also hopefully be part of a long-term sustainable solution to help prevent anti-social behaviour in the local communities.
“Young people can be drawn into anti-social behaviour during summer months and it is something that we, as a Constabulary, proactively aim to prevent with diversionary activities and initiatives.
“On top of that this is a great chance for these youngsters to develop skills which may help them in their future and their involvement in the poster competition gives them an experience which few of their peers will have done. The experiences they have will also be of benefit as they prepare for secondary school.”
Events include railway safety with Network Rail and the British Transport Police, working with the Environment Agency, a litter pick day with South Lakeland District Council, public bike marking, a visit to Bay Search & Rescue and a team-building exercise to create rafts on Windermere.
PCSO Emma Forrester, who is based at Windermere, said: “A lot of people don’t know what we are here for so we hope by working with us young people can gain an understanding of our role.”
She also thanked the Spar at Grange and Lindale Village Hall for their help on launch day.
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A list of activities that the Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be conducting with their Junior PCSOs is viewable online at www.cumbria.police.uk/juniorpcso.
You can also follow the progress on Twitter using the hashtag #juniorpcso.