say NO to strangers
Say no to strangers by LLewleyn Williams on Flickr

Officers from West Midlands Police Longbridge neighbourhood team, along with others from neighbouring West Mercia Police, led an interactive challenge for local youngsters.

The two day event at Waseley Hills Country Park was organised by Longbridge neighbourhood PC Karl Pierpoint and was attended by over 200 ten to eleven year old children from local schools.

Police worked in partnership with other local agencies to provide a range of activities to tackle issues of personal safety, crime reduction and anti-social behaviour, while promoting a positive relationship between the police and young people.

The event was set up as a joint initiative across Longbridge ward and the neighbouring West Mercia Police area to offer local youngsters the chance to complete seven scenarios each portraying a public safety message.

Scenarios included a mock-up electrical substation where children were shown what can happen if they play in or around them and a smoke filled house where youngsters learnt about how to survive a house fire.

Multiple agencies helped run the events:

  • West Midlands and West Mercia Police – A personal safety lesson around safe internet usage and ‘stranger danger’.
  • West Midlands and Hereford and Worcester Fire Service – A smoke filled home demonstration where children learnt how to safely get out of a smoke filled house.
  • NSPCC – An input around who are the NSPCC, how to contact them and what services they offer for young people.
  • Worcestershire Road Safety Group – Road safety talks, including information on vehicle stopping distances and the ‘Walk or talk’ campaign
  • Western Power Distribution – The dangers of electricity and electrical substations with a mock substation.
  • Wasley Park Rangers – Staying safe in open spaces, and the impact of starting fires.

PC Pierpoint said: “We are really pleased at the success of this event. We have had very positive feedback from all of the children taking part, who have not only learnt valuable life skills but have also had a great time.

“Events such as this are vital in breaking down barriers between the police, other agencies and young people, and as a result we will hopefully look to repeat the event again in a year’s time.”

As an added incentive, all of the schools taking part were marked on their behaviour and how they interacted within the seven scenarios, with a winner being declared at the end and a commemorative trophy being awarded.

PC Pierpoint added: “I can honestly say that all of the children taking part were well behaved and very enthusiastic throughout the two days. However, Holywell school just pipped it to take home the trophy which will be contested again next year.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved; partners and children alike. Can I also thank Colmers, Reaside, Forestdale and St Columbas schools and also Hereford and Worcester Fire service for providing funding to make the day a reality.”

Holywell school will now keep the trophy for a year after it was presented to them by PC Pierpoint and his colleague from West Mercia Police, PC Mandy Baldwin, in a special assembly at their school.

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