Police are gearing up for the Greenpower Education Trust South West regional electric kit car race days for young people from all parts of the south west.
The upcoming events, run from and supported by Newquay Cornwall Airport, will see primary and secondary school children taking part in kit car heats throughout the day, a total of 1,040 races in total.
The Formula Goblin race day, for primary school children, is taking place on Wednesday 17 June, and the F24 race day, for secondary school children, is happening on the following day, Thursday 18 June.
Over the two-day event Devon and Cornwall Police will have six cars racing. These include a youth group in Penryn, the Torpoint cadet group and their young people, the Marazion group formed from a group of young children and three from the Falmouth Police.
The Greenpower Education Trusts created the electric car project to advance education in the subjects of sustainable engineering and technology to young people, to change current views about engineering, presenting it as a fascinating, relevant and dynamic career choice. Greenpower has been one of the most successful projects in the UK for promoting social inclusion and engaging with vulnerable and economically disadvantaged young people.
Three years ago, PCSO Ellie Grey, based in Falmouth, was working with a group of young people who were engaging in antisocial behaviour and low level crime. PSCO Grey asked the police cadets if they could help to support the group. They decided to approach Greenpower to see if they could have the use of a primary school and secondary school kit car.
Greenpower gave the group the use of two kits for free. A team of young people competed in the regional heat after carrying out some fundraising activities.
Although the team did not qualify, Greenpower gave them a wild card entry to the final which was held at Goodwood Racecourse, Sussex.
PCSO Ellie Grey, who organised the local teams, said: “A through-the-night drive and some fantastic team work saw us complete the final, winning an award for our spirit and determination.
“The project, named Cop Car, is now in its third year. The community leases seven kit cars across the Force to engage with as many young people as possible.
“Around 50 young people and their families have engaged positively with the project this year. It is amazing to think that something that started as a discussion between cadets could amount to something that has proved to be a huge success and has the momentum to break down further barriers.
“I am delighted that we are able to promote policing in this way. It is a real ‘back to basics’ approach to community policing.”
Next year PCSO Grey is hoping to expand the project to other local stations in Cornwall.
The Newquay local policing team will have a stand at the race days. Officers will be giving out information about the Cop Car project and general police advice. Local dog handlers, traffic and armed response officers, scenes of crime officers and the police helicopter are also hoping to make an appearance.
Greenpower are using this Cop Car initiative as an example of community project work and presenting it to other Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) from other force areas with a view to getting the project up and running nationwide.
Vaughan Curnow South West regional Ambassador said: “The project Devon and Cornwall Police and Greenpower have created is amazing. I have already received emails from other forces and PCCs wanting more information. This is solely down to all of the Cop Car project volunteers.”
PCSO Ellie Grey added: “Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg has been so impressed with our success that he recently presented the cadets with a cheque for £5,000 to continue the good work.”
For more information about Greenpower, email [email protected]
Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News