Pupils go on school beat

THE headteacher of a school set for the introduction of an on-site police officer has welcomed the move saying it will play a vital part in pupils' lives.

THE headteacher of a school set for the introduction of an on-site police officer has welcomed the move saying it will play a vital part in pupils' lives.

Schools in north Essex will have the officers who will work full time on the site, tackling minor crimes and helping students with any problems they may have, including issues off the school sites.

Sir Charles Lucas Arts College in Colchester is among those set for the revolutionary change.

It is also thought that Clacton County High School and Colbayns High School in Clacton will have an officer on each site. A fourth unnamed school in Braintree, is also set to benefit.

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Caroline Haynes, headteacher at Sir Charles Lucas, said: "This is great – it brings to fruition our ambition of seven years to provide a full service school.

"We wanted to have all agencies represented in the school so we can be a full community here.

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"We have always had talks from the local police officer which have been good, but now we have somebody who will be established at the school – it is a wonderful situation."

Mrs Haynes said the school had approached police representatives about an officer and added it was not just to look at issues of crime.

"It is more about emphasising good citizenship and here we will have somebody who will have experience of what happens to people when they are not good citizens.

"Some said some of the children have witnessed things out of school which they will be able to speak to the officer about," she said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said: "The Safer Schools Partnership Initiative is an effective example of how the police can work in partnership with students, teachers and the wider community to keep children in education and away from crime."

Essex police's Assistant Chief Constable (Crime), Liam Brigginshaw, said: "The vast majority of students are law-abiding and having an officer on hand will help them to understand citizenship all the better.

"Unfortunately in the present day, many young people may only come across a police officer in trying or difficult circumstances. We want SSP officers to act as the old 'village bobby' used to – a friendly, approachable face who knows the challenges that their community faces. In this way a policeman will be a positive everyday part of life for young people.

"Schools are at the heart of our communities; it is vital that we have an open channel of communication with them."

nThe roles of the officers in schools in Essex will include the following:

-Group work on attendance / behaviour issues.

-Supporting schools' anti-bullying strategies.

-Reducing victimisation, criminality and anti-social behaviour in a school and its community.

-Identifying and working with children and young people at risk of becoming victims or offenders.

-Supporting school staff in dealing with incidents of crime or anti-social behaviour.

-Supporting vulnerable children and young people through periods of transition and promoting full participation by all children and young people in the life of the school and its wider community   


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