Police bear gifts for kids in accidents
TRAFFIC officers are to start carrying teddies in their cars to give to young children they meet while responding to road accidents.
The ‘trauma teddies’ will be given to youngsters at the scene of collisions to help keep them calm while they are given medi- cal attention, as a comfort after the incident, or as a distraction while police deal with paperwork.
Chief Inspector Tariq Butt, who heads up GMP’s roads policing unit, said: “Road traffic collisions can be a traumatic experience for anyone, especially young children.
“We hope that the trauma teddies will start a connection between the police and the child, and offer them comfort during a distressing time.”
Manchester company S Ryder Ltd has donated 100 teddies to GMP.
The traffic team will start using them later this month.
In previous years, the force has given out teddies to children who have been hurt in collisions, but now the teddies will be available to all children who are involved in accidents, whether they are physically injured or not. Pc Matt Picton says the teddies are a great way to calm youngsters down after what can be a very upsetting experience.
He said: “When you go to a collision children are distressed and the idea is to reassure them by giving them one of these teddies.
“It can have a devastating effect on them as they can get much more upset than we can.
“From previous experience it does work. It has a positive effect on them, it calms them down and it takes their mind off what they may have just witnessed.
“When you give them a teddy, it takes their attention.
“It’s also a great icebreaker as they sometimes don’t want to speak to us – we can seem scary in our uniforms.
“This gives them something else to think about, as we’ll obviously be busy doing first aid or cordoning off the scene.”
Pc Picton says that road traffic collisions involving children are sadly an alltoo-regular occurrence.
He added: “I’d like to never have to go to them, but unfortunately that’s never going to happen.”
●● Traffic officers across Greater Manchester will start carrying teddies in their cars