More than 2000 primary school children visited Havering last week in a fantastic multi agency community project led by Havering council.
The Havering school children have all signed up to learn life skills to protect themselves against knife crime and to keep themselves safe in the community.
As part of the Junior Citizens Project, year six pupils from 32 primary schools are spent two weeks learning how to travel safely on public transport, to be more aware of drugs and knife crime, and what to do if there is a fire.
The project, run by Havering Council and the police, saw pupils taking part in a series of challenges and scenarios to help them cope with everyday life.
The workshops were led by various organisations such as the Council’s Community Safety team, Street Scene, the Met Police, London Fire Service, TfL, Wize Up drug awareness, the road safety team and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.
Each school was awarded points for their knowledge and for demonstrating what they had learnt during the sessions.
Councillor Viddy Persaud, Cabinet member for Public Safety and Protection, said: “This year we have more pupils than ever taking part in the Junior Citizens Project, which demonstrates both the interest and the demand that schools and young people are placing on their safety and desire to be well informed.
“The pupils involved will be making the leap from primary school into secondary school and it’s important that they learn the life skills necessary to prepare them for both the change and the challenges they could possibly face.”
PC Wayne Hopkins, a Safety Schools Officer told The Enquirer: “This is our sixth year of doing this and we have about 2,000 pupils visited from 32 schools working here with us.
“The aim is all about the transition from year 6 to year 7 to help keep pupils safe.
“All of the pupils visiting here today will get the all-important message about staying safe and about who is going to help them if something did happen.”
East Area Borough Commander Steven Clayman told The Enquirer: “It is really important with young people at an early age to teach them these life skills now and help them with their well-being later.
“Teaching them how to interact and be streetwise, it’s not about frightening children but to make them aware and children are like sponges, they learn and take it all in.
“People are very worried about safety on London streets and we are actually a relatively safe borough here in Havering.
“Interacting with police officers at an early age is so important, to find out that police officers are actually human beings with family and children of their own.