YOUNG potential lawyers, police and magistrates took part in a Mock Trial competition at the Museum of Policing in Cheshire.

Four local schools competed in the former court room at the museum in Arpley Street, Warrington. It was organised by Cheshire Magistrates in the Community, supported by museum volunteers.

The Year 6 pupils were impressive as they followed court procedure throughout, enacting their roles – including magistrates, defence and prosecuting solicitors, court officials and witnesses – with dedication.

Pupils from four Warrington primary schools – Statham, Woolston, Barrow Hall and Oughtrington – took part.

Oughtrington teacher Helen Hatch said pupils had completed an application form for a place and those chosen were very excited. The scheme complemented their history unit on Crime and Punishment.

“They have all been reading up on court procedures and the roles they are carrying out. It has been confidence building and they are all looking forward to the day,” she said.

Guests were welcomed by Superintendent Adam Ross and Chief Superintendent Jon Betts, who both stressed their work in ensuring community safety.

Chief Supt Betts said there were 2,295 police officers in Cheshire.

“That’s almost two and a half thousand people looking after you, whether you need it or not. Cheshire is one of the safest places in the country,” he said.

Magistrate and event organiser Paula Jones said each school played either the Defence or Prosecution role in a formatted and scripted trial of two defendants involved in alleged harassment. There was also a court artist and court reporter role. Pupils were marked on their performance and understanding of the role.

“We are delighted to also use the old magistrates’ courts above the Cheshire Museum of Policing, which adds a sense of reality to the competition, so we’re most grateful to the Museum for accommodating us, and also for their enthusiasm and support to host the competition here.”

Each participant received a certificate of attendance, and the winning school, Barrow Hall, received a shield to display.

Awards for Best Individual Performer at each school were: Statham, Darcy White; Woolston, Jessica Hayes; Barrow Hall, Dafiyah Raza; Oughtrington, Luke Parmer.

Court artists and court reporters will submit their work and awards will be made later.

Paula said: “For the past 25 years we have given presentations across the county about our work in court and explaining how local justice is delivered, the judicial process of crime and implications of a criminal record and we’re always pleased to hear how much people have learned from our presentations, no matter their age and life experience.”

To contact Cheshire Magistrates in the Community, visit their website

www.cheshiremic.com for more information.