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West Midlands PCC David Jamieson, Magistrates Association organiser Judy Oliver, Assistant West Midlands PCC Ashley Bertie and pupils from Richard Lee Primary School

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson joined magistrates from Coventry and Warwickshire for a visit to Richard Lee Primary School in Coventry.

Part of the Magistrates Association ‘Magistrates in the Community’ scheme, the free educational visits work with more than 3,000 Year Six pupils in Coventry each year.

Judy Oliver JP, local organiser for the Coventry and Warwickshire Magistrates Association, said: “All of us from the age of 10 are responsible in law for our own actions – this comes as a big surprise to many primary school pupils.  Our free educational visits ensure young people learn about right and wrong, crime and consequences and are equipped with a range of citizenship skills for the rest of their lives”

“Every year we get fantastic feedback from the 90 primary schools we visit in Coventry who tell us how much learning and knowledge the children take away as they move on to secondary school.   The Magistrates Association is delighted that David Jamieson joined us to see this first hand at Richard Lee school.”

Each visit involves a mock trial with pupils dressing up and taking on all the court roles from solicitors, witnesses and magistrates, focused on whether an iPod has been stolen from a house.  After hearing all the evidence, the pupils then decide if the accused is guilty or not guilty, and if found guilty, go on to consider the right type of sentence.

 Before the trial there is an interactive presentation led by two experienced local magistrates and flash cards addressing the consequences of crime.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “Magistrates in the Community is an excellent initiative that helps to educate young people on their rights and responsibilities in society. Education and awareness help prevent crime and support a safer West Midlands. I am delighted that local magistrates provide this free service to Coventry’s primary schools.”

Ian Dunn, Chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Magistrate Bench added: “Engaging young people in the hugely important work of the magistracy and helping understand the pivotal role of the local community as volunteers, is fundamental in our civic society. Lay Magistrates play a major role in their communities. The Magistrates in the Community project is really brilliant, fun, engaging and most importantly, informative.”

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