Birmingham junior police community support officers a success

More than 60 kids in one Birmingham school have completed this year’s training as junior police community support officers (JPSCO).

The JPCSO scheme which runs in schools across the West Midlands, aims to protect and educate children about issues like knife crime and staying safe online. But it also encourages them to build a positive relationship with officers and even think about whether a career with the police may be for them.

And Birmingham's largest JPCSO group to date have just signed off at St Edmunds School in Selly Oak.

Notes from the pupils, and (right) PCSO Sarah Savage with St Edmunds School's wellbeing dog Ted

The youngsters, aged nine and 10, worked in six teams each named after an inspirational WMP figure, including Team Thompson, named after the current Chief Constable Sir David Thompson.

And among the topics covered were uniform and the difference between PCs and PCSOs, when to contact police, road safety, personal safety, planning routes to school and diversity.

The children also talked about how to look after their mental health and discussions around positive and negative emotions, written on paper tablecloths (pictured).

PCSO Sarah Savage, who met the school's wellbeing dog Ted during one visit, said: "I ran our first scheme at this school a few years ago with 10 pupils.

"Then we decided to offer it to the whole of Year 5 so they can have a position of responsibility next year when they move into their last year of primary school before heading to secondary school.

"We even introduced the group to debating which was really useful to get them thinking about considering others' points of view which is a skill needed by PCSOs.

"Then the last session was about the transition to secondary school, knife crime, age of criminal responsibility and online safety."

Sarah will be back in classroom with the pupils in September when the JPCSOs will be hearing about different police departments.

Interested in getting a JPCSO group set up in your kid’s school? Email your neighborhood policing team to start the conversation. You can find their details on our website.

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