FORTY 'mini police officers' have been welcomed onto the force at West Mercia Police in an effort to prevent speeding and poor parking outside schools in north Worcestershire.

The metre-high cut-outs will stand outside schools across the district to warn passing drivers to slow down and not park on zig-zag markings.

The cartoon figures are part of a joint campaign between Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion and Worcestershire County Council, after proving a hit with schools in south Worcestershire.

PCC John Campion said: "These new signs are fantastic and were so well received by schools in south Worcestershire that I wanted to offer the same to local policing areas across West Mercia.

“I hope that these mini officers will remind motorists to be more considerate outside schools.

"All too often people don’t respect the speed limits or think about where they are parking.

"By using these signs in a sporadic way, we hope they will be even more effective.”

The mini officers, funded by the PCC, will be given to 40 schools in north Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford which have long suffered with speeding and parking problems.