A COMMUNITY-LED book written by Gwent Police, Lansbury residents and P.E.T.R.A. Publishing was released in the Van Community Centre recently.

Who said pigs can’t fly?, written by Mike Church, with contributions from the Lansbury Park community and Gwent Police officers, portrays the positive role communities and the police have in their towns.

The children’s book tells the story of a young girl who becomes fearful of the police after mistakenly taking an item from a store without paying for it.

She’s then taken on a magical journey through her hometown, where she learns about the role of the police to fight crime in small communities and how, behind the uniform, they lead normal lives with their families.

The book aims to break down perceptions, illustrate the role police have in tight-knit communities and highlight the importance of positive relationships.

Chief Constable Pam Kelly greeted parents and children, contributors and the Deputy Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Jamie Pritchard, at the launch event, saying:

“As well as combating crime and keeping our neighbourhoods safe, our officers work hard to engage with younger generations.

“This helps build trust and a strong bond in our communities and lets children and adults know that, when they need us, we are here to provide the support they need.”

Inspector Gavin Clifton said: “I grew up in Lansbury Park and, when I was younger, was inspired by how a local officer connected with the community.

“He showed me how to deal with people from all backgrounds with honesty and respect and he gave me a real sense of purpose.

“My message to young people reading this book: never let your ambitions be limited – if you set your heart and mind to something, there is no reason why you can’t achieve your goal.”

Following the event and reading by Mike Church, copies of the book were given to those in attendance; CSOs and the author visited nearby households afterwards to give free copies to neighbours.

Children’s author, Mike Church, added: “It was an absolute pleasure working with the police and the people of Lansbury Park.

“It just shows what happens when people come together and share ideas. I hope the book is enjoyed by many far and wide as a good story. Maybe it can make people think about the very real and difficult job the police do as an integral part of our communities.”

P.E.T.R.A. Publishing (Parents Engaging To Raise Aspirations) write children’s books with families, for families, encouraging parents to become role models and create a culture that encourages ambition and togetherness.

For more information on their work, visit https://www.petrapublishing.org/.