– Sergeant Nicola MacGregor, Northumbria Police Mini-Police lead said:
‘Melissa could always be relied upon to be mature, showed great listening skills and encouraged her peers to take part as fully as she did.’
She added: "As a member of our extended police family, we will continue to help both her family and the school in any way we can."
Melissa's mother Kim and her father Michael spoke of their pride at Melissa joining the Mini Police. Kim said:
"Melissa was so excited to be part of the Mini Police and I was so proud that I saw her in her uniform.
"She was a really kind girl who just wanted to help people so it didn't surprise me she wanted to be part of it.
"The fact that she wanted to help the police keep her friends and family safe does make me smile but it was just the kind of person she was.
We miss her so much and it is still difficult to come to terms with the fact that she isn't here any more.’
In his opening speech at this years Lord Ferrers Awards, celebrating volunteers in policing, the Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse MP paid special tribute to Melissa for her commitment and work as part of the Mini-Police.