North Walsham Junior School gets a visit from local police and PCSO officers. Left, PC Charlotte Reed and PCSO Lucy Campbell capture pupil Lilia Bowles, 7, in Victorian handcuffs.

Handcuffs and truncheons to the fore as police visit North Walsham Junior School

Thursday, February 7, 2013
9.00 AM

’Ello, ’ello, ’ello. What’s all this then? It’s the modern-day police force giving schoolchildren a history lesson.

Handcuffs, helmets, truncheons and whistles used by earlier generations of police officers were among the paraphernalia taken along to North Walsham Junior School this week.

The event was part of studies by children aged seven and eight into North Walsham then and now.

The old items of uniform and photographs belonged to Sgt Derek Rutter, who is based at North Walsham.

His collection included a 1929 photograph of police officers “parading on” – lining up for inspection at the start of their shift – outside the town’s Yarmouth Road police station.

Some 80 pupils got a chance to try on old and new clothing including the weighty modern body armour worn by officers and PCSOs, and helped choose uniform to dress up PC Lee Beckham as a wartime policeman, complete with tin helmet.

PCSO Charlotte Reed said the children had been full of probing questions about the role of the police force, asking how many arrests PC Beckham had made, what officers would do if they were confronted by someone armed with a knife, and whether they enjoyed their job.

PCSO Reed said: “We told them that of course we did.”