Child Crime Victim 'On The Road Again'
A 14 year old Deaf pupil from the Castleford Academy is riding high despite being the victim of crime.
Maciej Uniatowski who can only communicate through sign language had his bike stolen from the school on the 14th October 2015 and was his only means of transport to and from home.
His family were not able to buy him another bike, which was designed to support his independence.
West Yorkshire Police Safer Schools Officer, PC Alex Potter heard about the situation and stepped in to help:
"Initially, when the theft was reported to me, it was clear that this would have a massive impact on his day to day life and he wanted nothing more than to be independent travelling to and from school.
"When I read about the Child Victims of Crime charity Christmas gifts I could not think of a more worthy nominee. I received the news that Maciej had been selected and both he, his family and I were ecstatic.
"Since coming back after the Christmas holidays, Maciej has his confidence and independence back.
"Without the bike, he would be lost, particularly as it replaced his requirement for Local Authority funded transport.
"As a Safer Schools Partnership Officer my role is to engage with pupils and work in partnership with the Academy. It is nice to get to know pupils and assist them whenever possible during a time when they need support."
Maciej said the gift has made a real difference to his life:
"I am so happy with my new bike, as it is too far to walk. I like being independent and now I can cycle to school again, it is much quicker. I would like to thank the charity for helping me. I was so surprised."
Maciej’s mum, Magdalena added:
"I am very happy that Maciej has received the vouchers to choose a bike. It makes me pleased that the charity selected Maciej through his nomination by the Safer Schools Police Officer. It has made a difference to him, as he can now travel independently to and from school again. Both he and I are very happy".
"I was delighted to hear that one of our pupils, has been awarded a £100 voucher through the Child Victims of Crime charity to put towards a new bike.
"Unfortunately Maciej had his bike stolen a few months ago so this wonderful contribution will enable him to be able to travel independently once again.
"I would like to thank our School Liaison Officer, PC Alex Potter for putting the bid together and enabling all of this to happen."
Operations Manager, Jenny Raine at Embrace Child Victim of Crime (CVOC) said:
"Embrace CVOC was delighted to be able to help Maciej by providing him with the means to replace his bike.
"Our objective is to support each child referred to us in the best way possible that is specific to their individual need."
Since the incident, an 18 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of theft and was bailed pending further enquiries. He is currently wanted on warrant.