05/29/2015 05:14 EDT | Updated 05/29/2016 05:59 EDT

'English police bobbies' take to Victoria streets as community ambassadors

If you're out on the streets of Victoria or Esquimalt, B.C. this summer, you may see English police bobbies on the beat.

The unusually-dressed community ambassadors are part of a new Victoria Police Department campaign, to engage residents and tourists in an entertaining way and educate them about the many ways they serve the community.

"Historically the Victoria Police wore London-style bobby uniforms until the 1940s and so in a way it's going back to the past," said John Lutz, a University of Victoria history professor.

'Bobbies' are named after former British prime minister Sir Robert Peel, who is credited with creating the modern police force.

In a press release, Victoria Police say the initiative is a way to promote the rich historical legacy of the oldest police service west of the Great Lakes.

"It makes it feel like the police are your friends and you can go to them and that they are actually interested in the community," said Reserve Const. Gennifer Thiessen. 

"I love the idea that now we [have] more volunteers out there interacting with the public, with people who live here and just making the police department more accessible."

To hear the full interview, listen to the audio labelled Victoria bobbies