Eleven primary schools joined Cumbria Constabulary’s Mini Police programme.

This brings the total number of schools involved across the county to 31.

The scheme, which has been running since 2018, introduces 9-to-11-year-old youngsters to the police in a fun, interactive setting.

The Constabulary welcomes five Barrow schools including Parkside Academy, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, St George's C of E Primary School, St Pius X Catholic Primary School, and Yarlside Primary School.

Also joining the Mini Police are Workington's Beckstone Primary School and Derwent Vale Primary School, Whitehaven's Bransty Primary School, Aspatria's Richmond Hill Primary School, Distington Community School, and Flimby Primary School.

The Mini Police venture is a volunteering opportunity steered by school staff and supported by uniformed officers.

In the process, children gain an understanding of vital policing concerns, the importance of security and engage in volunteer activities that correspond with local policing priorities.

Sergeant Tamara Tatton, Cumbria Constabulary’s Citizens in Policing team, said:

“Mini Police is a fantastic programme which provides police an opportunity to engage with young people, and for those young people to forge relationships with their communities.

“As well as being educational, the programme will allow pupils the chance to positively make a difference, and in turn, we hope this makes them feel some ownership and pride in the areas in which they live.

“We have found in recent years that children who have taken part in the Mini Police programme have grown in confidence, built friendships and acquired new skills."

Kevin McGoldrick, Headteacher at St. Pius X Catholic Primary School in Barrow, said: “We feel privileged to have been selected to be part of Cumbria Constabulary’s Mini Police project. This is something I’ve been keen to establish at St Pius X since my first year of headship at the school in 2017, when I first learnt about the project.

“I’m excited for our pupils to work closely with the police and wider community to form positive relationships and develop an understanding of what a good citizen looks like. Our pupils are extremely enthusiastic and passionate about the project and can’t wait to get started.”

Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Mike Johnson, welcomes the increased participation.

He said: “It’s fantastic to see more schools getting involved in the Mini Police programme.

“The scheme is a great way to increase the confidence of young people in themselves and in the police, and provides the opportunity for both to engage more with the wider community.”