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Blackpool’s Mini Police scheme awarded at countywide event

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

On 2nd November 2023, Lancashire Police held its annual POP Awards with Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden and Lancashire Partnerships Against Crime (LANPAC).

The event marked the fifth annual POP Awards, in which over 40 applications were made from police officers and staff across Lancashire - the highest number of submissions ever to be received for the awards.

Out of seven categories, officers from Blackpool’s Neighbourhood Policing Team led the way for the Business Support, Volunteers and Innovation category for their Mini Police scheme.

The team presented to over 180 peers, stakeholders and a panel of judges including Chief Constable Chris Rowley, Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Andrew Snowden, Sylvia Chenery, Chairman for the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC) David Smith, and the Chief Executive of Blackpool Council, Neil Jack. 

The Mini Police scheme worked towards supporting young people, changing their perceptions of police and for them to have an understanding of crime and their consequences.

Based in the Claremont area, the 12-week programme focused on a different area of policing each week with children aged between eight and ten. 

Some of the sessions included:

  • Learning about crime scene investigations with the CSI team.

  • Meeting the police horses and staff from the Mounted branch.

  • Understanding the dangers of being in gangs and carrying knives.

  • Knowing the signs of county lines.

  • Testing the speed laser gun with traffic officers, learning about the rules of the road and conducting a Community Road Watch.

  • Visits from partner agencies such as Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Royal National Lifeboat Institute and North West Ambulance Service.

Chief Superintendent Karen Edwards, Divisional Commander of West Division, said: “I am incredibly proud of PC Cooper, PCSO Brereton and PCSO Robertson who have hit the ground running with the mini police scheme.

“They’ve carried out some significant work to engage and educate young people about the police, our roles and preventing them from being involved or becoming a victim of crime.’

“It’s vital for us to continue to engage with all sections of our communities. Our mini police have all told us of their positive experience throughout the programme and I’m sure this will assist in maintaining and increasing trust and confidence across the Division.

“It’s really important for young people to have an awareness of potential risks such as becoming involved in anti-social behaviour, criminality, county lines gangs or exploitation. I believe this scheme has played a pivotal role in educating these young people at the right time.

“I look forward to welcoming this scheme in the future.”

Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said: "The Problem-Solving Awards rightly celebrate some of the many ways that officers and staff across Lancashire Constabulary are proactively taking the fight to criminals and finding new ways to work alongside partners to the priorities in my Fighting Crime Plan.

"It's a chance for officers, staff and partner agencies to come together, share best practice and innovative ways of working and fighting crime.

"We've seen some fantastic projects, delivering practical solutions to all kinds of different issues, all aimed at making our streets safer. Huge congratulations to the different category winners that offer an insight into the hard work and dedication across the organisation, happening around the clock to deliver an efficient and effective policing service.

“Proactive and innovative policing is exactly what I want to continue to see in Lancashire and my Safer Lancashire Neighbourhoods Fund is continuing to support projects, put forward by police officers and staff, as well as community organisations, that address community concerns and protect the public.