A schoolgirl has become an internet sensation after an adorable photo of her giving sweets to armed police went viral after being uploaded to Facebook.
Little Bella Latham-Heath, five, had been warned by her dad David, 28, she may see officers with guns when out and about following the Manchester terror attack.
So when the youngster spotted two on patrol at a retail park in Stoke-on-Trent, she offered them a bag of treats to thank them for helping to protect the public .
Today Bella said: “The police with guns make me feel safe. They are good and kind.”
Now an adorable picture of her kind gesture has been shared more than 24,000 times on Facebook.
Proud dad David, from Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, added: “There were two armed police officers as we walked through the doors.
“I was holding her hand and felt hers tighten in mine.
“She asked if they were the people protecting us, and then she turned around and said she wanted to buy them sweets to say thank you.”
After a quick visit to a sweet store, Bella hid the sweets behind her back and walked up to them, saying she had a treat to give them.
David added: “She was very excited. I said a little girl wants to ask you something and they bent down to her level and she offered them the sweet, and said ‘thank-you for protecting us.’
“They were quite overwhelmed and very grateful. They reassured her and took a picture with her. I’m very proud of her – she’s quite a special girl.”
David said he had always encouraged Bella to ask questions after explaining she had an older sister, Evie-Isabella, who was stillborn.
He added: “She heard about what had happened in Manchester and she asked why people want to hurt each other and I didn’t want to lie to her or hide it.
“I said it was like the Disney films she watches – there are bad guys, and good guys, but more good guys than bad.
“I didn’t want to be brutally honest – she is only five.
“I don’t want her growing up thinking everything is fine, so when something like this does happen she doesn’t know what to do.”
A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “It is great to see such positive comments and photos from members of the public.
“Our officers are there to support you and make you feel safe in your community no matter what, so please engage with your local officers if you think they can help.”