Top cop visits scheme to keep children safe

Published: Wednesday 21st October 15

Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has paid a visit to the council’s Junior Citizen scheme, which has helped keep generations of Wandsworth’s young people safe.

The commissioner answered questions and chatted to the youngsters taking part in the scheme, which is run twice a year and is offered to all the borough’s Year 5 children.

“I was very impressed with these very bright youngsters receiving good advice on how to keep themselves safe from dangers such as deep water, electricity and other hazards. The training was delivered by professional fire, ambulance and police staff and was top rate,” he said.

The council’s education spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: “We are immensely proud of our successful Junior Citizen scheme, and are delighted that Sir Bernard took the time to come and visit.

“It’s a great example of how different agencies working together can provide real guidance to young people at a crucial stage of their learning in a fun and engaging way. Many young, and now not so young, people tell us how useful they found it.”

Now in its 27th year, Junior Citizen has taught thousands of children how to cope with dangerous situations in everyday life by making them act out different scenarios, including keeping safe in the kitchen, dealing with strangers, making a 999 call, avoiding live railway tracks, how to escape a fire, keeping safe around water and online safety.

They also learn how to be a good member of the Wandsworth community, such as helping elderly neighbours.

Often what is learnt in one scenario will be reinforced in another. For example, children are taught how to identify dangerous drugs, and are then put in a 'derelict house' scenario where they are exposed to drugs.

Wandsworth's Junior Citizen is the longest running scheme of its kind in the UK and is one of only a handful to be officially accredited by RoSPA - The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

It’s run by the council as part of an ongoing collaboration between the council's community safety division, the council’s public health team and other council departments, the Metropolitan Police, London Fire Brigade, St John Ambulance, and British Transport Police.

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