‘Mini Police’ Get Lessons in Alcohol Awareness

Katesgrove Mini Police

SCHOOL children at Katesgrove Primary School are benefitting from alcohol awareness sessions, as part of a ‘Mini Police’ project.

Reading Council’s Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP) Officer has been working in partnership with Thames Valley Police to deliver class sessions with 17 year 6 pupils at Katesgrove Primary School in Reading.

These focused sessions have been designed to provide age appropriate awareness of alcohol, including risks, health impacts and associated laws.*

Cllr Sarah Hacker, Reading’s Lead Member for Consumer Services, said: “Whilst we already run alcohol awareness sessions in many Reading Secondary Schools, we identified a gap in primary school age awareness.

“These sessions offer a good opportunity for us to reach a younger audience and to spread key health and well-being messages.”

Cllr Liz Terry, Reading’s Lead Member for Community Safety, said: “The Mini Police scheme is a great initiative. We hope these children will benefit from increased awareness of the harms associated with alcohol, and that they will become ambassadors of information for their peers and their parents.”

Bob Burrowes, Pastoral Support Worker at Katesgrove School, said: “The Katesgrove School Mini Police have really enjoyed working with the Community Alcohol Partnership. It’s been an interesting, informative and fun experience for the children. We hope that some of the things that we have talked about will have a positive impact on the lives of the young people as they get older and make a real difference to decision they make.”

The Mini Police project, run locally by Thames Valley Police, launched in 2017 and is established in three Reading primary schools; Katesgrove, Park Lane and New Town.

Mini Police Co-ordinator, PC Tom Walters from the Katesgrove Neighbourhood team, said: “Alcohol related crime and anti-social behaviour can have a huge impact on families and communities whilst contributing to policing demand. Through their involvement with this project, our Mini Police will benefit from increased awareness of alcohol related issues and go on to have further discussions on the topic both in school and at home.”

The Mini Police scheme is a fun and interactive volunteering project for children in Years 5 and 6. The aim is for children to work with neighbourhood police teams on local issues. The pupils will also spread the word among their school friends about the work they are involved in and gain awareness of a variety of issues.

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Notes

Photos: Katesgrove mini police with Bob Burrowes, Pastoral Support Worker at Katesgrove School; Mini Police Co-ordinator, PC Tom Walters; Reading Councillors: Liz Terry, Lead Member for Community Safety and Cllr Sarah Hacker, Lead Member for Consumer Services, and Reading Council CAP Officer, Tessa Brunsden. Photos available for download from Flickr  (Copyright Reading Council)

* CAP sessions designed with the help of ‘Drinkaware for Education’ https://resources.drinkaware.co.uk/

Mini Police Project

The mini police project originated in Durham Constabulary, and has been established with the support and advice of the team there.

The scheme was introduced in Reading in 2017, with 70 nine to 11-year-olds from three primary schools – Katesgrove, Park Lane and New Town – who have worked with neighbourhood police teams on local issues.

Mini Police help with events such as community speed watch, representing the force at community events and have the opportunity to gain an insight into the work of the police, with rewards such as visiting the police dog kennels.

The pupils also spread the word among their school friends about the work they are involved in, helping to build relationships between the force and children.

Community Alcohol Partnership (CAP)

CAPs bring together retailers, local authorities, police, schools, neighbourhood groups and other stakeholders to tackle the problem of underage drinking and associated anti-social behaviour.

Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email victoria.nickless@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 3957