Today we have released a new animation telling the real life story of a child whose home was raided by police.

The animation, which was co-created with children and young people who have been affected by the imprisonment of a parent or close family member, is the first in a series that will highlight the trauma and fear that children often experience when their homes are raided by police.

It was created as part of a Comic Relief funded project, Hear Our Voice, a multi-stranded initiative which provides training to schools and police officers, and offers one to one support and group sessions to children and young people affected by this issue.

The release of the animation coincides with the launch of a newly developed children and young people’s section of Pact’s website. Pact will be working alongside children and young people to continue to develop the section, and provide information, support and online resources for children and young people that is engaging and interactive, as well as guidance for parents/carers, and professionals including teachers, social workers, police and magistrates.

Andy Keen-Downs, Pact CEO said: “Every year more than 200,000 children are affected by the imprisonment of a parent. It is well documented that this experience can be hugely detrimental to a child’s mental health, and significantly increase their chances of experiencing poverty, homelessness and educational issues. These negative impacts begin right from the point of arrest – in fact, children who witness the arrest of any household member are 57% more likely to have elevated post-traumatic stress symptoms compared to children who do not.

We understand that home raids are an essential part of policing practice, but we must find a way of conducting them in a way that is less traumatic for children. It is essential that we do all we can to safeguard these innocent children and ensure that they have access to ongoing support.”