Youngsters from two Mini Police units in Weston-super-Mare were treated to a fun-filled visit to the resort’s Grand Pier as a reward for their community-spirited work.
The attraction provided free unlimited ride wristbands to the children, as well as free entry to the Pier, as a way of thanking them for their hard work and efforts.
PCSO Kylie Channing, from Avon and Somerset Police, said: “The Mini Police scheme is delivered by members of local neighbourhood policing teams in partnership with schools.
“It offers primary school children the chance to build positive relationships with their local police team while also helping out in their school and the wider community.”
Children aged nine and ten from Windwhistle Primary School and Bournville Primary School form Weston’s “Mini Police” units.
Kylie said: “The aim is to build relationships with children at a young age, give them an insight into what policing is all about, and positively engage with them so that they see us as approachable friends who are part of the communities they live in, and go to school in.
“We hope that being part of the police family from a young age will help the children make the right choices in life and potentially lay the foundations for future career aspirations.
“These two Mini Police units have been together since September 2019 and have done lots of different things.
“We first made a community action plan, identifying what the children would like to see change within their local areas and we’ve already made a lot of progress.
“We took part in the local lantern parade on the Bournville estate, sang carols, hand-made Christmas cards and handed out mince pies at a seafront care home. We visited the lifeboat station in Portishead to see how all the emergency services and other agencies work together. We’ve also looked at parking outside schools and how to improve road safety.
“The groups pride themselves in representing their schools, police and themselves and are a real credit with their behaviour when we are out and about. They are always keen to be involved and provide new and fresh ideas for us to try.”
She added: “We wanted to reward them with a free visit or activity in recognition of their work in the first half of the year – they are with us until the academic year ends in July – so we approached the Grand Pier, who kindly agreed to accommodate us.”
Tim Moyle, director from the Grand Pier, said: “It’s heartening to hear how local children have been working alongside the police to make such a positive contribution to their schools and the town in which they live.
“We were only too pleased to be able to welcome them to the Pier and let them enjoy free rides as a way of saying thank you for playing their part in making our town better. They’re a credit to their schools and deserved a reward.
“Our reward was to see the smiles on their faces when they came to see us.”
For further information about the wide range of events, activities and attractions available at the Grand Pier all year round, visit www.grandpier.co.uk