Po­lice crack­ing down on tru­ancy across the city

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORTER

Po­lice are crack­ing down on tru­ancy across Auck­land in at­tempt to re­duce crime.

The ‘‘ma­jor’’ po­lice oper­a­tion will see of­fi­cers cruis­ing the streets over the next two weeks, talk­ing to young peo­ple skip­ping school.

In­spec­tor David Glos­sop said while tru­ancy it­self is not a crim­i­nal of­fence, there is a cor­re­la­tion be­tween tru­ancy and youths be­ing of­fend­ers, or vic­tims of crime.

‘‘There is ev­i­dence to sug­gest that a small num­ber of these chil­dren and teenagers are in­volved in crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

’’This can range from lower level of­fences to very se­ri­ous crimes in­clud­ing bur­glary.’’

Po­lice will be pa­trolling a num­ber of lo­ca­tions where they know youths gather dur­ing school hours.

But it’s not just about de­creas­ing crime stats, Glos­sop said, the crack down would also help sup­port at­ten­dance and im­prove fam­ily life.

‘‘Par­ents and care­givers play a huge role in the fu­ture suc­cess of our tamariki and need to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for en­sur­ing their chil­dren are ac­tively in­volved in ed­u­ca­tion,’’ Glos­sop said.

Po­lice will work with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and Tru­ancy Ser­vice Providers, to iden­tify those kids who are con­sis­tently not at­tend­ing school and ‘‘wrap sup­port around them and their fam­i­lies.’’

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion’s Ka­t­rina Casey said reg­u­lar at­ten­dance at school made all the dif­fer­ence in a young per­son’s life.

‘‘At­tend­ing school is not just the law of the land up un­til the age of 16, it’s also the key to set­ting our young peo­ple up for life.’’

For ex­am­ple, Casey said, a Year 11 stu­dent who only turned up at school half of the time had just a one-in-five chance of get­ting NCEA Level 1.

‘‘A stu­dent who at­tends ev­ery day has about a 90 per cent chance of achiev­ing that qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

‘‘That’s why it’s so im­por­tant that we work to­gether to sup­port fam­i­lies with chil­dren that are skip­ping school and help them get back on track,’’ Casey said.

In 2016, tru­ancy de­creased by nearly 40 per cent in parts of Auck­land fol­low­ing a com­mu­nity drive to tackle the prob­lem.

‘‘At­tend­ing school is not just the law of the land up un­til the age of 16, it's also the key to set­ting our young peo­ple up for life.’’

FAIR­FAX NZ

Po­lice are crack­ing down on youths wag­ging school in Auck­land.

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