School children can expect to find more police officers in their classrooms and playgrounds in future, under an expansion of the Safer Schools Partnership scheme.
New guidelines aimed at helping schools and police work closer together will result in more police officers being either based in schools, liaising with schools as part of neighbourhood policing teams, or working with schools and transport operators to make journeys to and from school safer.
Those officers based in schools are likely to focus particularly on pupil behaviour and attendance problems, possibly through initiatives such as restorative justice schemes to reduce bullying.
Safer School Partnerships were originally launched in 2002 in areas targeted by the Street Crime initiative, and there are now 400 Safer School Partnerships across the country.
“Safer Schools Partnerships link closely with our Every Child Matters commitments to improve outcomes for children,” said children’s minister Beverley Hughes.
“Schools and police forces working together can deliver real benefits to young people, identifying and supporting those at risk of victimisation, and tackling offending or antisocial behaviour at the earliest opportunity.”