THE funeral of a 10-year-old girl who was killed in a suspected hit-and-run has taken place. 

Melissa Tate died more than two weeks ago following the collision in Kenton. 

Her funeral took place in Newcastle yesterday, when police revealed the youngster had also been a proudkeen member of the force's Mini Police scheme. 

Hundreds of people attended the service at the West Road Crematorium, where friends and family had a chance to say goodbye to the youngster, whose father Michael had previously described as having a “heart of gold”.

The Northern Echo:

And now Northumbria Police have revealed Melissa was also a proud member of their Mini Police scheme.

Sergeant Nicola MacGregor, who co-ordinates Northumbria’s Mini Police scheme, says Melissa’s identification number will be retired as a tribute to the schoolgirl.

She said: “Melissa’s enthusiasm for the Mini Police was infectious and she made a brilliant start to her time as a Mini Police officer. 

“Melissa could always be relied upon to be mature, showed great listening skills and encouraged her peers to take part as fully as she did.

“Melissa’s Mini Police Identity Card will be retired following the tragic incident.

“As a member of our extended police family, we will continue to help both her family and the school in any way we can.

“We hope that we can to continue the excellent community work started by the Mini Police in her memory.”

Melissa was one of ten Year Five pupils at Mountfield Primary School who joined the Mini Police scheme in September.

The Northern Echo:

There are 37 schools who are signed up to the scheme that aims to promote social awareness, community spirit and to help young people make good choices when they grow up.

Melissa’s mother Kim and her father Michael have also spoken of their pride that Melissa had been selected to join the Mini Police.

Kim said: “Melissa was so excited to be part of the Mini Police and I was so proud when I saw her in her uniform.

“She was a really kind girl who just wanted to help people so it didn’t surprise me that she wanted to be part of it.

“The fact that she wanted to help the police keep her friends and family safe does make me smile but it was just the kind of person she was.

“We miss her so much and it is still difficult to come to terms with the fact that she isn’t here any more.

“Today (Friday)  has been hard for us but it is comforting that so many people came to the funeral to say goodbye.

The Northern Echo:

“Thank you to everyone who came and also thank you to the police for their ongoing support and for giving Melissa an opportunity to pull on the Mini Police uniform.”

A 23-year-old man was arrested by police in connection with the collision that killed Melissa and he has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

He appeared in court last month and will appear at Newcastle Crown Court at a later date.