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Saturday, 02 August 2014

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Workington youngsters join new police scheme

For four years police have been working with young people in West Cumbria to keep them occupied over the summer months.

And for the first time the scheme is being rolled out this year across the county for children aged 10 and 11.

Up to 20 youngsters from each of Cumbria’s neighbourhood policing teams will sign up to become junior police community support officers or PCSOs.

During the summer holidays, the junior PCSOs will spend a day a week learning new skills and meeting new people.

The youngsters will have the chance to attend a wide range of events put on by Cumbria police and other agencies.

They will learn first aid, take part in action-packed days and give something back to their community through activities such as litter picking or crime prevention events.

The scheme is geared up to run during the long summer break, but many of the groups have been meeting this half-term for introductory events.

The junior PCSOs have been given their uniforms and taken on tours of some of the county’s police stations to give them a taste of life on the force.

The primary schoolchildren will also receive work books which they will complete throughout the process. This year the selection process for the PCSOs was carried out by local schools, where youngsters designed posters on what their own community means to them.

Inspector Jon Sherlock, of Cumbria police, said: “The purpose of the scheme is to encourage good citizenship and promote pride in the community. The scheme will also hopefully be part of a long-term sustainable solution to help prevent anti-social behaviour.”

Each of the neighbourhood policing teams will have an awards ceremony later in the year, where the junior PCSOs will be presented with certificates.

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