Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Trauma Teddies on Patrol

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Trauma Teddies on Patrol

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY Crime Reporter @@Sophie_Doughty

MORE police officers will carry cuddly toys in their patrol cars following a successful trial.

Northumbria Police launched its 'Trauma Teddies' scheme in September with a pilot in Newcastle. The project saw knitted teddy bears being stored in the patrol cars of response officers so they could be handed out to young children involved in incidents.

Police say the scheme has received an "overwhelming response" from communities, with more than 100 teddies donated to the force.

And the pilot was so successful, the 'Trauma Teddies' idea will now be used across the Northumbria Police force area.

Chief Insp Clare Langley believes the teddies could be a vital tool to help comfort young children.

She said: "This is a really fantastic scheme that has already had a number of success stories in Newcastle during the pilot. We have had an overwhelming response from the public and more than 100 knitted teddies have been handed in by members of the public. It made sense to expand this scheme across the force as in the short time we have been running it we have found there is clearly an appetite to keep it going."

And Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird, added: "I very much welcome this initiative to Northumbria. It recognises the effect a traumatic experience can have on a child and such a simple gesture is a step towards making a child's experience less painful.

"Our officers sometimes have to attend devastating road traffic accidents or are called out to domestic incidents where a child has witnessed frightening scenes which result in seeing someone they know, and even love, being taken away.

"A teddy won't fix things but if it can help officers distract a child from what's happening and offer them some comfort. …

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