Doncaster children take to the streets as PCSOs

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Children in Doncaster are taking to the streets as police community support officers (PCSOs) in an effort to clean up their area.

About 12 youngsters aged between eight and 13 are spending 12 weeks learning the role.

The pilot scheme has been set up by South Yorkshire Police to help troubled children in Wheatley take responsibility for their community.

Youngsters meet once a week to help with litter picking and other duties.

Caitlin Biggins, 12, said: "We have to go around (and) tidy the streets and later we're going to put some plants in."

'Taking responsibility'

PC Emma Bloodworth said the scheme was helping to address and solve problems related to anti-social behaviour.

She said: "It's teaching them good citizenship, roles and responsibilities of the community.

Start Quote

It's teaching them good citizenship, roles and responsibilities”

End Quote PC Emma Bloodworth South Yorkshire Police

"The work that they're doing - the litter picking, the washing of the play equipment, the planting of bedding plants - it's all in an area that they live so it means something to them.

"When we first did inspections of the area, they identified what was wrong with their area so they told us about the bus stops that [were damaged], the litter, the overflowing bins, the graffiti on the swings."

PC Bloodworth said the idea for the scheme came from the children, who wanted to know more about the role of a PCSO.

"The kids are absolutely fantastic," she said.

"They've been really, really good. We've actually had other members of the community knocking on the door at four o'clock saying 'can we now join'. So the response has been really positive."

The force hopes to roll out the scheme across South Yorkshire next year.

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