SCORES of teddy bears have been taken into custody by police in Ledbury.

Members of the needlework and knitting groups of Ledbury U3A have worked tirelessly to make a multitude of knitted teddies in response to an appeal from West Mercia Police officers, who understand the value of a good soft toy.

Ledbury U3A spokesperson, Georgina Howie of Kempley Brook Drive, Ledbury, said: " It is not as silly as it sounds. The police want toys to assist them when interviewing children, so they need some at every station, and West Mercia is a large geographical area.

" Ledbury U3A needlework and knitting groups, with the support of local knitters in the town, have made a large number.

"These were made to a specific pattern, and they will be given to children to assist during interviews. On Ledbury Community Day, a number of Town residents joined in to produce even more colourful bears. One took away a pattern and returned with 11 bears, complete and ready for action."

Wendy Hill, U3A group chairman, said “The knitters are pleased to know that they will be helping the youngsters through a difficult experience”.

The presentation was made to PC Lyn Johnson and PCSO Dave Alexander of Ledbury Safer Neighbourhood Team on Wednesday, July 16, by Ledbury Market House.

PC Johnson said "Specially trained police officers interact with vulnerable children and the teddies are a way of breaking down barriers and assisting communication with young children".

She added: "We'll have named some of the bears before we get them back to the station. They are so cute and all have characters of their own."