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Estonia police put teddy bears on patrol

TALLINN (Reuters) - Estonia’s police will soon carry teddy bears in their patrol cars to comfort children caught up accidents or distressing situations, the organiser of the charity Traumamommik (Trauma Teddy) told Reuters.

The plan will see cuddly toys added to the equipment in the Baltic state’s 100 police patrol cars in time for Children’s Day, which is celebrated in Estonia on June 1.

Additional bears will be kept at police stations.

“The teddy bears will hopefully help these lift the spirits of these kids and be a support if the children need it,” 25 year-old Kaur Vahtrik, the organiser of the charity, said.

He said he got the idea when a friend was involved in an accident.

According to Estonian police statistics, around 200 children a year are involved in traffic accidents.

The teddy bears will also be used to help comfort children caught up in other situations, like domestic violence, police officer Lea Barenson told Reuters

The crowd-funded project HuggyBear aims to buy 1,000 teddy bears.

Reporting by Janis Laizans and additional reporting and writing by David Mardiste; Editing by Simon Johnson and Tom Heneghan