What is Safer School Policing?
Currently a named police officer is provided for the 12 secondary schools in the borough and one police officer is provided for colleges, in addition there are four police officers for universities and four dedicated police officers covering 46 primary schools.
This arrangement has been in place since September 2015.
At the beginning of every term each school is sent out a PEP (primary engagement programme) or SEP (secondary engagement programme) that explains the type of contact, including presentations, that a safer schools police officer can offer students.
The ethos of Safer School Policing is prevention and engagement through being seen and education rather than law enforcement.
What kind of contact do safer schools officers have with students?
Presentations to students are on topics such as drugs, knife crime, cyber bullying, online safety, CSE (child sexual exploitation), and mobile phone theft amongst others.
Students have also been taken on visits, for example to the Ben Kinsella Trust, which educates young people about the consequences of choices, so they stay safe and away from crime, including knife crime.
Safer schools officers also help to staff school gates at the end of each school day to reassure students as they leave the premises.
What do safer school officers see as the best part of this role?
The best part of the role is dealing with students on a more personal level rather than just as a police officer. Being present in school can help to make students feel safe and working within the schools helps to reduce crime in the borough.
What do police offer children that are not in school or regularly truanting?
Police have YET (youth engagement teams) that work with all young people in and out of education and also a project called UBANTU where police are liaising with student groups to get their views.
Helpful advice on staying safe:
- Check online settings for safety
- Look after your phone when you are out and about
- Never carry a knife
- Speak to an adult you trust if you are worried about any issues concerning gangs, feeling isolated or unsafe.
If you are worried about reporting a crime, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111