CHILDREN at a Forest primary school had a taste of authority as they warned passing motorists to “slow down!” having caught them speeding past their school.
Pupils from Drybrook School stood at the roadside near the school gates to record drivers’ mph with speed guns, assisted by Forest PCSOs, on Thursday (June 22).
The kids did catch some who were driving over the 20mph speed limit, and were quick to warn the drivers, quite enthusiastically, to check their speed.
Other motorists quickly got the message and exchanged waves and beeped their horns to show their support for pupils’ cause.
The activity was part of a scheme from Two Rivers Housing called ‘Junior Wardens’, which was launched in 2014 collaboratively by the housing association, Gloucestershire Police and Forest of Dean District Council Street Wardens.
Along with the PSCOs, the pupils were joined by Two Rivers CEO Garry King and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC) for Gloucestershire and Forest of Dean District Councillor Nick Evans.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Evans and Two Rivers Housing CEO Garry King joined Drybrook pupils and Forest PCSOs to speed check motorists
Mr King explained: “We’re working with local schools like Drybrook to raise awareness of community issues.
“So for example, here today they’re going to be looking at the issue of littering and also speed checking outside the school to raise awareness of safety, and the importance of that to the school and the pupils.
“And hopefully, they’ll go home and make their parents think about their speed as well.
“(DPCC) Nick (Evans), the PCSOs and also the Street Wardens at the district council have been an important part of this work, which we’ve been doing for many years now.”
Mr King and DPCC Evans both say the initiative is about getting the children to feel part of their community.
“One of the reasons we do this is to get early intervention and prevention for young people, so that they feel part of their community, which makes the community safer because people feel they’ve got that ‘buy-in’ to it”, DPCC Evans said. “It’s simple, but it works”.
Along with the speed watch and litter picking activities, the team also leads a session where children are asked to draw a picture of things they would like to see in their area in the future.
DPCC Evans said what that does is show what the children’s perceptions of safety are, and what all three organisations can do to help make communities better.
Mr King said that results of the activity are “fascinating”, having previously thrown up things that Two Rivers were actually able to progress.
DPCC Evans said: “It’s not about police, Two Rivers or the council coming in and ‘doing’ something to a community, this is actually something the community has said they want, and these guys (the children) are just as much a part of the community as everyone else.”
The equipment for the sessions, including the speed guns and high vis vests, were funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
DPCC Evans said Gloucestershire Constabulary is also about to launch its own similar scheme called ‘Mini Police’, which will be county-wide.