Year 3 pupils from Kings Norton Primary enjoyed a school trip with a difference last week as they took aim (with toy guns!) on targets at the West Midlands Police Operations Centre in Aston.
Excited youngsters spent two hours touring the site and also got to dress up in police riot gear, take the wheel of police vehicles and quiz cops about life as a police officer.
The trip was organised as a thank you to the pupils who’d written touching letters of support in recognition of the force’s efforts to keep people safe following the recent terror attacks.
Deputy Head Dawn Chapman, said: “After the awful events in Manchester and London we were talking in class about how to stay safe and who protects us. Many of the children had said how they’d seen more police in Birmingham and officers carrying guns.
“We wanted to stress to them that they shouldn’t feel scared and that the officers were there to keep people safe. It was a really good discussion and it ended with the children saying they’d like to write letters to the police to say thanks.
“It was a lovely surprise for us to be invited to the police base and the pupils had a fantastic time, especially on the range and using the sirens and flashing lights − as you’d expect the noisy things proved particularly popular!”
Birmingham Police Sergeant Mike Dunbar escorted the pupils on the day. He added: “It’s great that children are having discussions in school about issues such as security…we want children to feel at ease approaching and speaking to our officers.
“You hear parents telling children if they don’t do as they’re told then they’ll tell a police officer! I know it’s only light-hearted but for children to be scared of seeing police, or see them as an intimidating authority figure, is the last thing we want.
“You can see from the photos and from the looks on the kids’ faces on the day that they all had a wonderful time − they were our VIPs for the day and it was a pleasure to host them. Hopefully we’ll get chance to say hello to some of them again on patrol soon.”