Cam­pus cops’ base will be high schools

Tack­ling safety is­sues

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - Ian Bunt­ing

Po­lice of­fi­cers could be based at se­condary schools as part of coun­cil plans to “ad­dress safety is­sues within school com­mu­ni­ties”.

Agree­ment has been reached be­tween the lo­cal author­ity and Po­lice Scot­land for eight of­fi­cers to set up a home in six North La­nark­shire schools.

A de­ci­sion on the plans was set to be fi­nalised at a coun­cil ed­u­ca­tion com­mit­tee meet­ing yes­ter­day.

The “first phase” of the project would see an of­fi­cer based at St Mar­garet’s High to cover that school plus Calder­vale High and Air­drie Academy; with another of­fi­cer based at Coat­bridge High also cov­er­ing St An­drew’s and St Am­brose in the town.

The news comes af­ter our front page story last week about a 13-yearold schoolgirl suf­fer­ing a sus­tained cam­paign by bul­lies.

How­ever the plans are not aimed at any spe­cific con­cern, but take into ev­i­dence the “pos­i­tive im­pact po­lice of­fi­cers can have when in­ter­act­ing with young peo­ple”.

The project would be funded jointly by Po­lice Scot­land and the lo­cal author­ity, with an over­all cost of £320,000.

The ed­u­ca­tion, youth and com­mu­ni­ties depart­ment pro­poses to use cash from the Scot­tish at­tain­ment chal­lenge fund, sub­ject to con­fir­ma­tion of “an align­ment with the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s grant cri­te­ria”.

Of­fi­cers would cover schools dur­ing term-time and re­turn to nor­mal shift pat­terns dur­ing school hol­i­days.

The pre- meet­ing re­port also re­vealed the role of the of­fi­cers will in­clude work­ing closely with teach­ing staff to deal with cur­rent is­sues and iden­tify emerg­ing is­sues.

They would also help young peo­ple en­gage in pos­i­tive be­hav­iour and steer away from anti-so­cial ac­tiv­ity and crime; sup­port them to make more pos­i­tive life­style choices, and ad­dress is­sues in a pre­ven­ta­tive way to deal with tack­ling bul­ly­ing, pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar ed­u­ca­tional in­put on drugs, al­co­hol, in­ter­net safety and other rel­e­vant is­sues.”

Is­abelle Boyd, the coun­cil’s as­sis­tant chief ex­ec­u­tive for ed­u­ca­tion, youth and com­mu­ni­ties, said: “The pro­posed in­tro­duc­tion of a new part­ner­ship with Po­lice Scot­land rep­re­sents a pos­i­tive step for our schools and com­mu­ni­ties.

“It is one of many in­no­va­tive strate­gies to build sup­port and we be­lieve it is good news for pupils, staff and par­ents and car­ers.

“As part of our vi­sion, we are com­mit­ted to putting schools at the heart of the com­mu­ni­ties we serve and the sup­port of all our com­mu­nity plan­ning part­ners is es­sen­tial to this.

“Po­lice Scot­land will have a key role to play in the de­vel­op­ment, pro­mot­ing com­mu­nity safety and help­ing young peo­ple en­gage in pos­i­tive be­hav­iour.

“This ground­break­ing scheme will be im­ple­mented in all our se­condary schools.”

Pos­i­tive im­pact Po­lice of­fi­cers may be in­stalled in the area’s se­condary schools

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