THE children’s commissioner for Wales, Sally Hopkins, paid a visit to Nant Celyn Primary School in Cwmbran to learn more about the school’s mini police scheme.

The mini police, or Heddlu Bach, is a scheme run throughout Gwent where youngsters have the opportunity to help make a difference in their community and to help educate their fellow pupils.

And on Friday, the children’s commissioner for Wales joined Gwent police and crime commissioner Jeff Cuthbert in listening to a presentation from the children at Nant Celyn Primary on what they have achieved as part of the scheme.

One project the children spoke about was their work with residents to install a bin outside the school to help reduce littering.

They conducted a survey with the residents which identified litter and traffic related problems in the area, and this led to them getting in touch with Torfaen council, and installing a new litter bin outside the school.

They also spoke about creating posters to distribute to parents who collect pupils from the school, and have also held a class assembly highlighting the benefits of travelling to school in an eco-friendly way.

The Heddlu Bach’s work on cyberbullying was highlighted, as it linked in with the children’s commissioner’s anti-cyberbullying campaign.

Following their presentation, the children got the chance to quiz Ms Hopkins and Mr Cuthbert about their roles and responsibilities.

Ms Hopkins said: “The Heddlu Bach are helping me in my job to make sure all children get their human rights to grow up happy, healthy and safe.

“It has been wonderful to see these young budding police officers doing their best for their school and their community.

“At the moment this scheme is just in the Gwent area of Wales, but I think it would be of benefit to children throughout Wales.”

Nant Celyn deputy head teacher Caroline Swann said: “I think it is really important because it helps them to understand their work in relation to others in Wales and in the police service.

“It shows that their work is linked to real world circumstances and is actually making a difference.

“They have done so much work, and have worked tirelessly.

“It takes a lot of confidence to do speak about what they have done, to the children’s commissioner. They have developed that confidence through Heddlu Bach.

“We are very proud that they have done that and are working with local residents to help improve the community.”

Jeff Cuthbert said: “I was delighted to bring the children’s commissioner for Wales Sally Holland along to Nant Celyn Primary School today to showcase their Mini Police Unit.

“We were overwhelmed to hear, first hand, how the initiative is impacting on the lives of those involved, from increasing their confidence to building community relations.

“The scheme not only offers young people an opportunity to help address the issues which matter most to them, but also provides a real taste of policing at an early age.”