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​Officers bring a smile to children’s faces at the end of the school term

News   •   Dec 22, 2020 13:30 GMT

[Officers from the Central West Basic Command Unit]

After almost a year of uncertainty and lockdown, officers sent a cheerful video message to primary schools in central and west London to bring pupils some festive cheer.

Officers from the Central West Basic Command Unit’s (BCU) Youth Engagement and Diversion Team enlisted the help of colleagues to send out a virtual Christmas message to local children in primary schools in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham at the end of the school break.

Staff and officers based at Charing Cross police station, the Met’s Mounted Branch and police dog Dexter - the Met’s wellbeing dog, could be seen dressed in tinsel and Christmas hats sending festive cheer to our younger community.

The video, titled ‘Festive Cheer’, is part of the great work being undertaken to improve engagement with the youngsters across the community.

In June, a dedicated team of Youth Engagement officers worked to establish how to better engage with the younger community in central London. The team’s primary focus is on the transition of Year 6 pupils into their first year of secondary education. The programme will, however, include all primary school years in the future.

The team has three dedicated officers who work within primary schools across the BCU who, alongside MetX - the Met’s Transformation Team, have been developing the Awareness Academy. This is a brand new initiative which provides the younger community with the skills and knowledge to make the right choices for a brighter future.

Officers have been determined to continue working with students throughout the pandemic. Police engagement with young people in schools is key as it gives them a chance to voice their concerns within the community and seek advice.

Chief Superintendent Helen Harper, Central West BCU commander, said: “It’s been a really tough year and my heartfelt thanks go out to all of our partners working with and supporting our young people, especially in schools. Hopefully this video made you smile.

“I am really proud of my team and their commitment and enthusiasm to supporting our young people. Their work has never been more important, we want to listen to what our young people want to tell us, be influenced by how they feel about crime and policing and work relentlessly to build and retain their trust and confidence in us.”