Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie has given his backing to a scheme started in Longhaugh Police Station in Scotland that sees police officers utilise knitted teddy bears to break down barriers with young children in potentially traumatic situations such as domestic violence call outs, road accidents and assaults.
Since starting the scheme earlier this year hundreds of teddy bears have been donated to Longhaugh Police Station. As well as helping to break down the communication barriers between Police Officers and young children the teddy bears – a symbol of comfort and safety in childhood - can also help prevent or reduce the possible long-term damage that an adverse childhood experience (ACE) can cause to young children.
Schemes such as this one are currently common practice in Australia and in parts of England and Wales however this is the first part of Scotland to adopt such a scheme. It is hoped that all Scottish Police divisions will soon follow suit – with a number currently looking to adopt it in the near future.
On a visit to Longhaugh Police Station Mr Hosie met with Inspector Chris Boath, PC Lynsay Jackson, PC Andy Kerr and Janie Mair – Service Manager of Children First Dundee and Tayside – to learn more about the scheme and ACE awareness as well as to discuss how he can help promote the trauma teddies. Stewart also donated a teddy to the station.
Commenting Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie said:
“The scheme is so simple but the impact it can have on young children is extraordinary.”
“I was thoroughly impressed, not just by the officers perseverance and dedication to this scheme but by the amazing response from the local community and organisations like Children First. Some of the teddies take a number of days to knit and the fact that they have received over 500 of them from local people is phenomenal. This is a prime example of the real sense of community spirit that is alive and well throughout my constituency.”
“On the visit I assured the officers that I will do everything that I can to assist in the rollout of this fantastic scheme in Dundee and across the country.”
Commenting Inspector Chris Boath said:
"Longhaugh Community Team and Police Scotland would like to thank Mr Hosie for his support and taking the time to visit and learn more about the Trauma Teddy initiative. Mr Hosie was very supportive and recognised the value of the initiative - not only as a gesture but a genuine opportunity for Police Officers to engage with children across Scotland."
Media enquiries contact:
Communications – Office of Stewart Hosie MP
Phone: 01382 623200
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