STAR schoolgirl Aleksandra Mleczek has been rewarded for excelling in a community policing project.

A pupil at Barlby Bridge Primary School, Aleksandra, aged nine, participated in the Cop Swap scheme, an initiative funded through the Community Safety Partnership to encourage young people to learn more about their neighbourhood policing teams.

Participating pupils collect cards of the local police team. On the front is a caricature of an officer, on the back is a community safety message.

Aleksandra succeeded in collecting all the cards, and as a reward she was presented with a special Cop Swap drawing.

Talking about the project, PC David White said: “We focus our work with young people on engagement and education; these Cop Swap cards are a great way of us working alongside young people.

“So far, the scheme’s been running for about three months and we’ve given out over 7,500 cards across the district. We’re really pleased with how well the project has been received. Now we’re looking to develop the scheme to include more of my colleagues and a new website.”

The Cop Swap scheme is proving popular in the Selby district, with 24 schools taking part. Pat Dyson, head teacher of Barlby Bridge Primary School, was proud of her prize-winning pupil.

She said: “Aleksandra’s done so well. She moved to this country from Poland only 18 months ago. The project has helped her learn English and be part of the local community. She deserves huge congratulations for all her hard work over recent months.”

Coun Mark Crane, of Selby District Council, said: “Engaging with young people is key if we’re to develop positive and lasting relationships between youngsters and the police. This work will have long-term benefits for everyone in the Selby district.”