West Midlands Police Launch Newspaper and 'COPPER CARDS'

Monday, 07 June, 2010

Aneka Anderson, Communications Manager and PC Heideline Marchenko

PC Heideline Marchenko, Maddison Podmore aged 6 and PC Rekha Tapia

THOUSANDS of schoolchildren are to get their own newspaper this week and some will be receiving free top trumps collectors cards.

The eight-page 'Safe Street News' hits the news stands - well the classrooms anyway - of the West Midlands this week.

Aimed at the region's 5 to 11-year-olds 20,000 copies have been produced by West Midlands Police to encourage them to stay safe and act responsibly.

The bright and colourful edition will steer youngsters towards the force's new interactive kid's website www.safestreet.info

The one-off edition features stories and competitions to get children thinking about staying safe, a problem page, a lifestyle questionnaire and themes around personal responsibility and community spirit.

The website, newspaper and copper cards signify the forces commitment to tackling the causes and effects of anti-social behaviour in the long term. Anti-social behaviour is a key priority for the force, which is placing a far greater emphasis on local policing.

Youngsters who pick up a copy of the newspaper will also learn how to get hold of the brand new trump-style Copper Cards.

The cards feature characters from the Safe Street website and are the first move by the force to move towards a set of branded products to boost its engagement with children.

The paper also includes a chance to win a competition to name one of the latest batch of West Midlands Police puppies. Officers will bring the so far unnamed pup to the school of the winning entrant.

Communications Manager Aneka Anderson said: "As we were producing a site for kids, it seemed like a great idea to produce a newspaper for them too.

"We're trying to be positive with children and encourage them to come to their own conclusions instead of preaching to them."

She added: "The Copper Cards, newspaper and website all drive home the messages about being safe and a good citizen, as well as being good fun.

"They also let kids know about the role of the police in society and hopefully this will encourage positive experiences for the children."

The newspapers and copper cards can be found in local schools and police stations, but children are also being encouraged to approach officers on the street to ask for a copper card.

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