It's on the cards for Watton children
Norfolk police are playing their trump card in a bid to forge better relationships with some of the youngest residents of Watton.From today the race is on for children in Watton to round up a full set of officers and PCSOs from the town's Safer Neighbourhood Team(SNT) and book them as fast as possible.
Norfolk police are playing their trump card in a bid to forge better relationships with some of the youngest residents of Watton.
From today the race is on for children in Watton to round up a full set of officers and PCSOs from the town's Safer Neighbourhood Team(SNT) and book them as fast as possible.
But townsfolk need not worry - no officers will be put behind bars for the special operation.
All member of the SNT have been issued with special stickers called Cop Cards.
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Featuring a picture of the officer, along with some special information that might have remained secret up till now, seven to 11-year-olds at five participating schools have been given special sticker albums which they will have to complete over the coming months to be in with a chance of winning a “secret top prize”.
To be given a sticker youngsters must go up to the officer and answer a question on an aspect crime prevention or personal safety.
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There is also a series of special and limited edition stickers which will be issued at intervals and will be available from the town council office or from the library.
Inspector Ady Porter, who enjoys cycling and whose favourite food is pasta according to his Cop Card, said: “It is about the children getting to know their local officers and having the confidence to go up and speak with them.
“Communication plays a big part in our job and it is about the children talking to the police and the police talking to the children.
“We are also building relationships with the town's future adults.”
The Cop Cards initiative has cost �1,800 with the cost being split between Breckland Council and the police.
Breckland's anti-social behaviour officer, Tracey Baxter, who supports West Ham United and has a pet chinchilla called Stanley, is also featured on one of the limited edition cards.
She said: “The initiative is aimed at getting the children to understand that they can approach the police if they have a problem and that they are a friendly face in town.
“If the scheme goes well in Watton we will look at rolling it out across the whole district.”
Demand for stickers is already high and crowds of youngsters from Watton Junior School surrounded officers as they launched the scheme there yesterday.
With a squad car to look round and the chance of meeting Razor the police dog, who also has his own card - loves lots of exercise and is very highly trained - it was smiles all round in the playground.
And the youngsters said they were looking forward to building the collection and getting to know the SNT team better.
Tiffany Long, 11, said: “It is a chance to get to know the police men and to win prizes.
“When you feel like you know them you can go up to them.”
Joshua Nicholson, 10, said: “It is really good to be able to meet the police officers as we do not get to meet them often.
“I am going to go for the full set of stickers.”