Jenny has been running a Detective Club at Elmlea Junior School for the last 6 years, her children went through the school and it’s a definite fixture on the The Detective Project calendar.
This year one of the children loved the club so much she asked how she could find out more about becoming a detective, we had a chat and this article explains what Bryony did next. Well done to Trinity Road police station.
(The ink chromatography experiment Bryony mentions is described in an earlier blog post)
Budding young detective experiences a day in the life of a police officer
An eight year old girl with ambitions of becoming a detective had a taste of real policing last week, when she visited Trinity Road Police Station.
Bryony Chesneau, who is a pupil at Elmlea Junior School in Westbury-on-Trym, wrote to us asking if she could visit a station and speak to officers, to find out more about what the police do.
During her visit, Bryony tested the fingerprint machine, visited the cells, sat in a police car and tried on different officers’ hats and jackets. She also saw the control room where 999 calls are received and spent time with staff in the front office.
Talking about her visit, Bryony said: “I was very surprised to see so many police men and women working on a Saturday – it made me feel safe to know they are there doing their work whilst most people have time off at the weekend.”
“My favourite part of the day was chatting to Detective Clare, she was really nice and answered all my questions. I also liked it when Sergeant Jo arrested me and read me my rights.”
Bryony’s mum Frances said: “I can’t thank officers at Trinity Road enough for taking time out of their busy Saturday shift to show Bryony around and answer all her questions – of which there were a lot – so patiently and in such detail.
“Bryony’s interest in investigative work was first sparked through ‘Detective Project’ – an after school club run by an ex-detective. At the club the children practiced their detective skills, for example one week they worked out who stole a pen by analysing the ink.
“Bryony was really inspired by her visit to the station and went back to school and proudly told all her class mates about it. She has decided that she definitely wants to be a detective when she grows up.”
Bryony’s visit was organised by PCSO Hayley Bickford who runs the Bright Outlook programme in Bristol, a scheme which engages with young people who may be at risk of going down the wrong path. Children aged 10 – 16 are referred into the scheme and experience time alone in the cells, hear from an ex-offender who has turned their life around, and then work with a mentor to produce a five-year plan focussed on their goals and ambitions.
From March 2017 until January of this year, 75 young people have completed the Bright Outlook course and only seven have since been involved in criminal activity, which shows how effective this type of engagement work can be.
PCSO Bickford said: “It was a pleasure to meet Bryony and I’m thrilled to hear she wants to be a detective – she definitely has an inquisitive and questioning mind so I’m certain she will fulfil her ambition.
“This type of work with young people is a really important element of our role in the neighbourhood policing team. I think a lot of people assume that we only focus on enforcement, but there is so much fantastic diversionary and engagement work going on and it was lovely to be able to share this with such an enthusiastic and budding young detective.” PCSO Hayley Bickford