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East Lancs schools on their way to ‘Big Futures’ in Mini Police scheme

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Nine primary schools in East Lancashire have recently been involved in a Mini Police scheme.

The ‘Mini Police – Big Futures’ scheme began throughout schools in the Blackburn with Darwen area in September 2023 and is a fun and interactive volunteering opportunity for local young people.

Led by school staff and supported by police, children have the chance to learn about policing issues and staying safe in their communities.

Pupils from year five and six applied for a position in the scheme and were selected by school staff. Each student received a uniform and was ‘sworn in’ to the Mini Police at an attestation assembly where parents were invited to watch.

So far officers have delivered several inputs to the children, along with sessions from various partners such as the British Red Cross. During this session the children were taught life skills such as first aid, in an interactive session learning about equipment used by police.  

The sessions have been supported by Blackburn with Darwen Council Road Safety team and Trading Standards, along with funding from LANPAC and Blackburn with Darwen Council. Local businesses have also given support, such as Asda, Nisa, and Bestway Cash and Carry.

As well as this, the children are taking part in volunteering activities in support of a local policing priority.

Below are the schools involved and their chosen policing priority:

  • Ashleigh Primary, Darwen - Road Safety and parking
  • Avondale Primary, Darwen – Knife crime
  • Belthorn Academy, Darwen – Road safety
  • Redeemer Primary, Blackburn - Vandalism
  • St Aidan’s Primary, Blackburn - Drugs and vaping
  • St Edwards Primary, Darwen – Road safety
  • St Paul’s Hoddlesden Primary, Darwen – Road safety
  • St Peter’s Primary, Darwen - Vaping
  • St Stephen’s Tockholes, Darwen – Vaping
  • Our lady of Perpetual Succour, Blackburn – Litter

The scheme will soon come to a close before the summer holidays, with parents invited back to watch a closing presentation.

Sergeant Dave Dutton said: “The ‘Mini Police – Big Futures’ scheme has been a huge success and the contribution from the children has been fantastic.

“Each school chose a policing priority to focus their project on. They evaluated the problems, gathered information, broke down the issues, identified solutions, selected the best solutions they can achieve and put this into action. By doing this, the students have learnt how to break down problems no matter the size.

“We are hoping that the positive benefits of this scheme will impact the children’s overall trust and confidence in the police, as well as empowering the students to be great role models in their school and community.  

“We have had great feedback from parents and carers also. Other schools are now saying that they would like to be involved for the next start in September 2024, which is great to hear.”