Toys to help com­fort young vic­tims

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk & world Update -

COM­FORT toys are be­ing in­tro­duced to re­duce the stress chil­dren suf­fer af­ter be­ing in­volved in a se­ri­ous col­li­sion or firearms in­ci­dent.

Po­lice in Cam­bridgeshire will carry soft toys, many of which were do­nated by the Dis­ney Store in Peter­bor­ough, in all of their traf­fic and firearms ve­hi­cles to com­fort chil­dren while the emer­gency ser­vices deal with the in­ci­dent.

The Cam­bridgeshire scheme has been set up by en­quiry of- fi­cer Jackie Gadd af­ter she heard about the suc­cess of a pi­o­neer­ing project by Wilt­shire po­lice.

She said said: “Sev­eral years ago my chil­dren and I were in­volved in an eight-ve­hi­cle col­li­sion on the M25 which was ex­tremely dis­tress­ing for the chil­dren.

“I’m con­vinced that if they had been given a teddy to cud­dle while the in­ci­dent was dealt with it would have re­duced their stress sig­nif­i­cantly.”

Chief in­spec­tor Mike Win­ters said: “Be­ing in­volved in or wit­ness to a se­ri­ous col­li­sion or firearms in­ci­dent is an ex­tremely dis­tress­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The in­tro­duc­tion of the `com­fort toys’ will al­low of­fi­cers to of­fer chil­dren in­volved some com­fort to help re­duce the stress of this ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Sev­eral forces are al­ready us­ing the toys and have found they help to calm down chil­dren.”

Mother­care in Hunt­ing­don also gave a sub­stan­tial dis­count to the po­lice for their toys.

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