Dozens of would-be young bobbies joined the beat in Bicester this week.

Year 6 pupils at King’s Meadow School took part in a passing out parade after a week of police-related activities.

They were visited by mounted police, forensics units, police with speed cameras and members of their local neighbourhood team.

Teacher Ben Rainford said: “The police week used to be something all the schools in Bicester did, but we are the last one now.

“It is really important because the children get to meet the police, see what they do and it breaks down any negative attitudes some children may grow up having.”

Parents and the rest of the school turned out to watch the children parade yesterday.

Leading the march was Sgt Pete Gell, pictured, on the final day of his 30-year career in the police force. He said: “It was a lovely way to finish my career before I retire. I was very impressed with their marching, which had improved a lot over the week.”

Being promoted to inspector for his good work was 10-year-old Jake Holmes. He said: “We’ve met police horses, we had the riot van in and learned how to march. I’ll definitely give becoming a police officer a thought.”