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We need your unwanted toys

9 Nov 2018

Parents are being asked to donate unwanted toys, as a former office is converted into an area suitable for children who come into contact with police.

The room at March Police Station was used by Cambridgeshire Constabulary mechanics, but is now getting a makeover.

The local inspector, Ian Lombardo, has requested the renovation of the office, including new furniture, in readiness for its new life as an interview suite. The room will be used by experienced officers as they interview parents and children about serious crimes like domestic abuse and sexual assaults. Any child taken into police protection in the Fenland area over concerns for their welfare will also be interviewed at the unit.

Parents in Fenland are being asked to donate toys, books and puzzles to help distract the children who find themselves in the new interview room.

Inspector Ian Lombardo from Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: “I want to ask the Fenland community for their help. Do you have any toys, puzzles or books that you no longer need and that you are willing to donate to help children who for whatever reason find themselves at March Police Station?

“The busy atmosphere of an operational police station can be uncomfortable for children, making the experience even more stressful for them and for their parents.

“In my 15 years of service I have seen far too many children taken into police protection who then have to spend time at the station while we wait for staff from partner agencies.

“These children are understandably nervous and scared and my officers find themselves with very little to comfort them.

“The new area is away from the busy station and has its own kitchen which includes cutlery and cups for children, there is a separate area that will contain a changing mat should parents with very young children require that facility along with a selection of toys and books.”

Donations of toys and other items can be left at Wisbech or March police stations.

Should we receive a larger than required amount of donations these will be shared across the county by the force Child Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit to help provide support and comfort to children across Cambridgeshire at other similar facilities.

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