Scilly’s Community Police Officer Recognised For Work With School

shirley graham awardThe St Mary’s Police civilian team member, PCSO Shirley Graham, has been highly commended with a Citizenship Teacher award from the National Police Commissioner.

It’s for Shirley’s work in setting up the highly successful ‘School 999 Week’ ten years ago.

Up to 25 school pupils spend a week on the mainland each November, learning about policing.

They stay at the Penzance Youth Hostel and meet specialist units including police divers, dog handlers and the traffic unit.

The initiative has been widely praised and was identified by Ofsted in their school inspection as an example of national best practice.

Shirley says the programme originally started after a request from the force to set up a Police Cadets unit on the islands.

She says that was unlikely to take off here, but felt some of the work of the cadets could be put into a course aimed at Year 9 pupils, the age when youngsters are starting to explore issues such as alcohol, drugs and relationships.

It was only planned to be a one-off, but has now been running for a decade.

Shirley says the course contents are constantly changing and last year youngsters tackled the topic of terrorism for the first time.

She says they watch a video of an explosion in a shopping mall and the youngsters have to take on the role of investigators, emergency services, press and witnesses.

Shirley was presented with the award in a school assembly yesterday. Teacher Liz Duffy-Griffiths put Shirley forward for the award.

Shirley says she’s delighted that her work has been recognised.