Secondary school in Harlesden hosts and funds first police summer camp
PUBLISHED: 16:49 17 August 2016 | UPDATED: 17:10 17 August 2016
Â© Adam Tiernan Thomas
Pupils at a Harlesden secondary school have graduated from the first police run summer camp held in the borough.
Newman Catholic College (NCC) in Harlesden Road, has collaborated with Brent Police to offer four weeks of fully funded fun and activities to 21 of its pupils who were rewarded in a special assembly last week.
In the first of its kind to be held from any school in Brent, first-come-first-served year eight boys have spent the summer experiencing a range of activities including a day with riot police, trying on uniforms, using strike shields and learning about police dogs.
They have also been to the London Dungeons, the history and science museums, a Kickz session with Queens Park Rangers, enjoyed cookery classes and had a first aid lesson.
Each day a free lunch was provided with local businesses donating food or offering large discounts hearing of the project.
Oskar Domagala, 13, said: “It was very good, the police were very fun and playful. The trips, the food and the sport were my favourite things. They should do this every year.”
Devarsi Arquisan, 12, added: “I liked the waterfights. The police were very friendly.”
For four weeks, from 11am - 2pm every day, non-uniformed police staff have engaged with the pupils offering them different activities.
PC Gary Weedon, who is attached to the school during term time, said: “We already interact with these boys but this took it to another level. They see us as mates, it builds bridges, and kids need stimulation during the long holidays.”
PC Holly Breakwater, said: “It’s been pure fun, apart from today they have never seen us in uniform. This was very spur of the moment but really successful. We haven’t had to discipline anyone, they are just boys, tell them to pipe down and they will, they’ve all been very respectful.”
Sergeant Katie Ruff, overseeing the project, added: “Some of these boys have really shone, their behaviour has been impeccable.
“We have a great partnership with the school. It’s all about keeping kids out of the criminal justice system by giving them something to do.”
Danny Coyle, headteacher said: “This summer programme is yet further evidence of the first class partnership and collaboration between the police and NCC.
“At the heart of everything we do together is the well being and development of our students. I would like to thank the police for their outstanding work in engaging our young people in a wide range of summer activities. The feedback has been universally positive.
“This programme offers a template for other schools across the country. The main reason however that is has been so successful is that our local officers have a high profile and are known, liked and respected by the students.”