Police Apprentice Competition 2020 Update

Please be advised that our countywide ‘Street Safe. Street Smart’ competition for Yr. 6 pupils has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Police Apprentice #NeverChooseKnives Secondary School Media Challenge 2020 still open for entering…..

The Secondary school competition is still open and will be running into September 2020.

Managed and coordinated  by Collaborate Digital Ltd in partnership with us and the Police and Crime Commissioner, information, lesson plans, videos and resources have been created to support teachers to get this competition underway with students.

There’s no need for specialist equipment – students can make a podcast or Youtube video on a phone, laptop or tablet – it’s the script that is important and ensuring it sets out to key messages to inform and deter young people away from carrying a knife.

Consider setting this challenge to students to do at home or during the summer holiday….

Link to all information and resources: https://collaboratedigital.com/project/hampshire-police-apprentice-knife-crime-secondary-schools/

Link to register: https://collaboratedigital.com/register/

Police Apprentice is a fun and interactive way for police to engage children and young people in schools, colleges and youth groups on safety related topics.

What is Police Apprentice?

Police Apprentice is a tried and tested initiative created for police by young people as a fresh, fun and interactive way for us to engage them about keeping safe and actively involving them in problem-solving issues and risks affecting them and their peers growing up. It steps away from ‘front-loaded’ ‘information-heavy’ styles previous taken by police, refocusing its approach to improving the experience for learners by making sure involvement in the process is child-led, giving them a voice and platform to speak up about risks, law and making safe, responsible choices.

The original design concept was based very loosely on TV programmes The Apprentice and Dragon’s Den, setting learners a police-related challenge to design ways to raise awareness of risky topics in ways which will appeal to their peers, as a fresh method of helping them learn, develop resilience and increase understanding.

How is it delivered?

Following planning discussions between police and staff from the perspective host school/college/organisation, delivery of Police Apprentice starts with a group/class/peer to peer open discussion about the pre-agreed topic (i.e. knife crime, exploitation, road safety, ASB, online safety), this is facilitated and delivered by police.

Following close of the discussion, the police facilitator will set a ‘Research, Design and Present’ challenge – supported by a task brief, learners are directed to further research the topic, identify key messages other children/young people should know and design a way to share their messages and raise awareness they think is engaging and that their peers will be receptive to, being as creative and innovative as they wish.

Learners are also encouraged to prepare a short presentation about their journey, explaining more about their design, why they came up with the idea, how they think it meets the brief and would be implemented to help tackle the topic issues. In the case of participation in a competition process (as explained in Bring the Work to Life), the presentation can be used as a pitch to assist in shortlisting a winning idea.

Note: The research, design and present element of the Police Apprentice process is intended to be overseen by school/college or youth group staff and led by participating learners; police will initiate the process and support follow-on/competition work only.

Bringing the Work to Life

We encourage the option of running Police Apprentice as an in-house, local or county wide competition, taking the opportunity to showcase participant learner’s work with the aim of creating a campaign or social action project to wider tackle the topic issue. The winning design/idea can be used in-house only or shared with police and key partners to support a broader community awareness project.

Is Police Apprentice suitable for all learners?

The initiative is designed to be flexible to ensure it can meet the needs of individual schools/colleges, youth groups and learners. As such, it has two flexible options: Police Apprentice 11+ and Police Apprentice Mission for U11’s, SEND or other specific learning needs. 

Police Apprentice for 11+

This version is very enterprise based, developing knowledge, understanding and other soft skills through the research and design challenge to create a tangible awareness campaign/end product. The challenge requires working as a project team to develop a plan, delegate roles, design an idea and prepare a ‘Dragons’ Den style pitch’ to present the end product. 

Police Apprentice Mission for U11

This version is not enterprise based at all – it is solely an interactive learning activity as opposed to design project. Learners can work in groups, pairs or individually on the activity which sees the Chief Constable put them on a special police mission to tell other children about the dangers of…. (the chosen topic)’. Learners are encouraged to be as imaginative and creative as they want, exploring art, poetry, music and drama to create their ideas.

Note: Both versions provide the option to further develop ideas/work into a campaign or social action project.


The level of participation is optional and flexible to meet the needs, capacity and desired outcomes of individual schools, colleges or youth groups. Police Apprentice can be run as an in-house learning activity only, or extended by way of the competition option, where learner’s work is further developed, supported by police, to create an in-house, community or corporate campaign/social action project.

In schools, the competition option has previously been run within tutor/house/year groups or across several schools in an area to create joined up messages locally. It has also been used by primary schools as a means to engaging and informing parents through hosting assemblies where children show what they have created/learned – it seems parents come to watch children perform but not always for school information events.

Time committed to participating in the process can be as short or as long as required, suggestions range from off-curriculum days to a dedicated class project over a half/full-term or specific time period.

Note: All considerations and arrangements for running Police Apprentice will be discussed, explored and agreed at initial planning meetings

How do I get involved?

If you are interested in running Police Apprentice or Police Apprentice Mission at your school, college or youth group, a meeting can be arranged to discuss topics, timescales and logistics. Please contact your local police link officer/PCSO or contact the central education team through the Safe4me electronic contact form.

Meet some of our previous Police Apprentice Competition Winners….


Year 10 pupils from St. George Catholic College, Southampton – Winners of the local Police Apprentice Street Safe. Street Smart Competition to tackle the issue of knife crime among young people in the city. For more information and access to all video resources, visit the Safe4me #NeverChooseKnives webpage.


Year 9 pupils from Robert May’s School, Odiham – Winners of the Police Apprentice Countywide Secondary School Competition to tackle the issue of sexting among young people. For more information and access to video resources, visit the Safe4me #Wildfire webpage

#Respecting Differences #HaveNoHate

Pupils from Portsmouth Academy for Girls – Winners of the local Police Apprentice Respecting Differences Secondary School Competition to tackle the issue of Hate Crime among young people in the city.