YOUNGSTERS at a village school tried a new kind of uniform on for size when they became mini crime fighters.

Year five pupils at Gainford C of E Primary School have joined the Mini Police scheme, a volunteering opportunity for nine to 11-year-olds who get to help police tackle issues highlighted by their own communities.

The project is being promoted by the National Volunteer Police Cadets team and is supported in this area by Durham Agency Against Crime.

Headteacher Chris Riley said: “The objective is to introduce these children to a positive experience of policing and to get them involved in the local community.”

Apprentice youth workers deliver education on policing priorities which is then cascaded down to the rest of the school by the Mini Police.

The children then become involved with community activities to enhance community confidence and pride.

Mrs Riley said: “Our mini police team have been learning about anti-social behaviour and about staying safe online. They are planning an assembly to share all of the things they have learnt with the rest of the school.

"As part of their contribution to the local community they are going to be involved in litter-picking in the village. They will also be paying a visit to the police custody suite where they will learn more about the role of police officers.

"This is a fabulous project delivered free to the school. Watch out for the mini police– they look fabulous in their uniform."