In June, police carried out the project "Child - Police Officer for a Day" for the first time throughout Slovenia.

In recent years the project has been carried out only in the area covered by the Maribor Police Directorate. The project proved very successful in practice - not only pupils, but also their parents and teachers were very satisfied. In the internal competition held by the police for selection of the best campaign or the best project in 2006, this project won the first place and was also positively rated by the Ministry of Education and Sport, which had invited primary schools to participate in the project. As a matter of fact, the project is intended for 5th form pupils of the eight-year programme and 6th form pupils of the nine-year programme.

Course of the project

In the areas covered by the Ljubljana Police Directorate and the Maribor Police Directorate, respectively, six to ten schools each, or a maximum of 20 pupils from each of the participating schools, will be included (two or three pupils from each school). In the areas covered by other police directorates, three to five schools will participate, or up to 10 pupils from the area covered by a single police directorate. The pupils to participate in the project will be selected by the schools according to their past activity in preventive campaigns and their interest in participating in the project.

Accompanied by their teacher, the pupils will visit the police station, where they will be received by the commander or his/her deputy. He/she will present the role of police in society in ensuring the safety of people and their property. This will be followed by a brief presentation of security problems and self-defence conduct, and of the organisational structure of the police and the tasks of police officers (police officers on duty, on patrol, criminal investigators, community policing officers, etc. The commander will also show them the facilities, equipment and vehicles used by the police in their work.

The pupils will be given T-shirts and caps bearing the inscription Child - Police Officer and the community policing officer and their teacher will take them to the "field". They will observe their preventive work (advising and warning, formal and informal talks, etc. The visit will last for an hour; then the traffic police will make a presentation of their work (traffic flow at crossings and traffic circles, knowledge of traffic signs, etc.)

Upon return to the police station, the pupils will be given a gift bag containing prevention materials distributed by the police in the frame of their community-oriented work. After three hours spent with the police officers, the pupils and their teacher will go back to school.

During the time spent with the police, the safety of pupils will be provided for. Since the visits to police stations constitute a school activity, school rules will apply in protecting the pupils. A police station will be visited by maximum of three pupils at one time. During the visit they will be accompanied by their teachers, both at the station and in the field. Pupils will not be present at police activities requiring repressive measures. The community policing officer will also take care of the safety of pupils at all times.

The project is aimed at making pupils acquainted with security problems and self-defence conduct. Moreover, it is our intention to make the pupils acquainted with the work and mission of the police in society. With the project, we wish to build a positive image of police officers and to increase the confidence of young people in their work.

Some police stations unable to carry out the project this month will do it in September.