Youngsters at a junior school in Ashbourne have been celebrating becoming the latest Safer Neighbourhood Stars.
Officers from the Ashbourne Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team visited three classes of Year Six pupils at Parkside Junior School on Monday, July 17 to help teach them about the importance of being a good citizen.
They spoke to the youngsters about anti-social behaviour and the effect that this can have on other people in the community, the role of Safer Neighbourhood policing teams, home and online security, and staying safe when out and about.
Safer Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership put in place funding for the scheme, and as well as getting a Safer Neighbourhood Stars certificate to recognise their contribution, each child received a free swim voucher to use at Derbyshire Dales District Council leisure centres.
Water safety was one of the subjects the Safer Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership included, alongside the importance of not dropping litter and cleaning up after your dog.
It is hoped that the free swim vouchers will help encourage youngsters to use the facilities, and to not be tempted to go into potentially dangerous open waters in the area.
PC Rachel Baggaley from the policing team said:
“We have always had a great response from the children at Parkside Junior School, and this year was no exception. It has been a fantastic opportunity for us to engage with pupils and get to know them better, and was also quite poignant as the school closes as Parkside at the end of the summer term and re-opens as Ashbourne Primary from September.
“As well as discussing anti-social behaviour, we also talked about peer pressure which may become more important with the youngsters moving up to high school where they will be making new friendship groups and may find they have more pressure to feel like the fit in. We have tried to help educate the group in the best ways to act if this happens or if they witness something that needs to be reported.”
PC Baggaley added:
“The initiative is now in its fourth year at Ashbourne, and was first set up with the aim of helping us to reduce reports of nuisance and anti-social behaviour in the area.
“It was great to award them with their Safer Neighbourhood Stars to recognise their contribution to the sessions.”
Derbyshire Dales District Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, who is also Chairman of the Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, said:
"The Partnership were delighted to help fund this excellent initiative, and the District Council provided an added incentive by offering free swim vouchers to every child who took part.
"Instilling good citizenship at an early age is important work and we hope that messages for example about not dropping litter and remembering to clean up after dogs will stay with these young people."
To speak to the Ashbourne Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team call 101 or send them a message through the My Local Police pages of the website, www.derbyshire.police.uk.
You can also follow the team on Twitter: @AshbourneSNT