Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 09.05.07PUPILS are proving to be a force to be reckoned with as they help the local constabulary maintain its reputation as the best in the country.

Four primary schools joined forces yesterday for the official launch of Mini Police in Darlington.

Details of the pioneering project will be reported to the Queen by County Durham’s Vice Lord Lieutenant Alasdair MacConachie who claimed such innovations were one reason why Durham Police was rated the best force in the country.

Mr MacConachie said: “According to the Government Durham Constabulary is the best in the country and it is projects like this that help keep the force at the top.”

Alan Reiss, chief of staff for Police Commissioner Ron Hogg, confirmed the Government was impressed with the scheme.

MP Jenny Chapman told pupils: “This is about making Darlington a safe and happy place to for us all to live. It is great that you have put yourselves forward and you should feel proud about what you are doing.”

Heathfield, Red Hall and Corporation Road primary schools and St George’s Church of England Academy, Middleton St George joined the scheme, which is designed to promote harmony in the community and was launched at the Dolphin Centre.

Around 80 pupils, aged nine-11, will take it in termly turn to wear special Mini Police uniforms with pride as they work with the force to improve community safety.

Mini Police boys and girls will find themselves on the frontline when greeting royalty, helping police community safety officers tackle local issues and promote seasonal campaigns.

They will also be able to visit police headquarters in Durham, the police helicopter, Bikewise and Dogwise events, tackle community issues including parking near school, speeding motorists and dark nights safety and meet and discuss issues with Durham’s Chief Constable Mike Barton.

The ceremony was also attended by Mini Police co-ordinator Craig Johnson, Darlington Chief Superintendent Graham Hall, PCSOs, Darlington Borough Council leader Bill Dixon and mayor and mayoress Tom and Gill Nutt.

PC Johnson added: “The voice of a child has an amazing impact on the local community and offers an honest and insightful perception of what we are striving to achieve for everyone.”

Coun Nutt added: “It is a fantastic way for young people to get to know the police and for them to get to know young people.”