VULNERABLE children are already benefitting from a new scheme to help comfort them during traumatic incidents attended by police.

Police in Inverclyde have been carrying 'trauma teddies' with them on shifts, to hand out to tots left scared or distressed.

The teddies are knitted by people in the local community and handed in to the police station.

Greenock police station has bundles of of the knitted teddies handed in and PC Linda Arthur has told the Tele how she used one.

PC Arthur said: “There are sometimes unfortunate circumstances where we have to deal with young children who have been involved in traumatic incidents.

“Often these are very negative experiences for the children.

"But now we have access to the trauma teddies, which have been knitted by members of the local community.”

Linda gave out her first teddy to a little two-year-old girl while on a tense 999 call.

She said: “We dealt with the situation we had been called out to and I then thought it would be the ideal opportunity to hand out my first teddy.

“I gave it to the little girl because she had been very brave and deserved to be rewarded for it.

“It let her know that we were there to help, and she really liked it.

“When I went to get it from the car neither the little girl or her parents knew what I was doing but they all appreciated it.

“Being able to give the little girl a trauma teddy made me feel proud to think that I may have made a difference to her experience with the police.”

After her shift not only was Linda feeling proud of herself but she was praised by her own daughter Sophie, who is four.

PC Arthur said: “Sophie always asks how my day at work is and I told her all about trauma teddies and their purpose.

“I told her that I had to give one to a little girl and she told me she was very proud of me.”

PC Arthur says that the members of the community who knit the trauma teddies should be proud too.

She said: “It is a great sense of community that members of the public have taken time out of their day to make the teddies and bring them to the police office for the benefit of young children in the area.

“Seeing how happy this little girl was when I gave her the trauma teddy makes me hope that we continue to get kind donations of the trauma teddies in the future.

“It is reassuring to know that we have them to give out should we need to, they really can help turn a situation around.”