A VOLUNTEER police officer has been praised for instilling trust in Halstead’s youth after he allowed two children to look inside his van during a routine patrol of the town.

Community Support Officer Dave Endersby operates within the Braintree and Uttlesford districts and was out on a daily patrol in Halstead last weekend.

During his visit he spotted four-year-old James waving at him and decided to stop to say hello to him and his three-year-old sister Sophie, who were out with their mother Lorrie Aston.

Clearly amazed at seeing a real-life police officer, PCSO Endersby decided to give the two lucky children an access-all-areas tour of his police van, even letting them wear his hat and briefly pressing the siren button.

Lorrie said: “PCSO Endersby was very kind to stop and let my children have a look around the police van.

“He was fabulous with the children and he knew just how to talk to them, and he was a really nice guy.

“My children haven’t stopped talking about it.”

Lorrie has since publicly praised PCSO Dave Endersby for taking time to engage with the younger community, as she believes parents too often use the police as a tactic to scare their children into behaving.

She instead believes young children need be made more aware of the positive role police officers play in keeping people safe and understand that they can confide in the police should they ever need help.

She said: “PCSOs are here to engage with the community and they are the eyes and ears of local areas, but they are so stretched, and public don’t seem to realise that.

“Children are often told if they are naughty the police will take them away, but who would we want our children to go to if they were lost?

“As parents we should teach them that police officers are there to look after them.”