Pupils' hate crime project is praised by police

Howletch Lane Primary School in Peterlee
Howletch Lane Primary School in Peterlee

Police have praised the work of pupils in Peterlee after their "excellent" project about hate crime.

Year-six pupils at Howletch Lane Primary School produced poems, stories and pieces of work about hate crime. after taking inspiration from the Northumbria Police website for National Hate Crime Awareness Week and from the force's ‘Being you is not a crime. Targeting you is’ campaign.

Howletch Lane Primary School in Peterlee

Howletch Lane Primary School in Peterlee

Teacher Claire Patterson made the force aware of the work via Twitter and when officers saw their work they were so impressed they wanted to meet those behind it.

Detective Chief Inspector Deborah Alderson, who is the force lead for hate crime, Detective Sergeant Phil Cleugh and Community Engagement Officer Pc Janine Turnbull visited the school on Wednesday.

"When we were made aware of the pupils work we were blown away by the content and quality," DCI Alderson said.

"They've done an amazing job of getting their thoughts and feelings down about what is a very serious subject and one that a lot of much older people sometimes fail to understand.

"Ms Patterson should be extremely proud of her students, they were a great bunch and asked us some really challenging questions, which demonstrated their understanding and passion about the subject. They are a credit to her and to all of their parents' and families and to say thank you we presented them a certificate from Northumbra Police.

"As a force we do all we can to raise awareness around hate crime and work like this will be a huge benefit for the whole of society in years to come."

Ms Patterson said: "I am so proud of the levels of maturity and empathy that the children displayed when covering the topic of hate crime and how well they were able to demonstrate a full understanding of how being victimised because of a difference can make you feel.

"The response from Northumbria Police has been amazing and it means so much to the children that officers took the time to not only read their blog, but to then come and meet them and celebrate their work. Our certificate will be definitely be taking pride of place in our classroom!"

To view the pupils' work, visit http://howletchblog.weebly.com/year-6-blog/what-is-hate