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Brighton Schoolswatch aims to reduce crime

Residents living near schools in Brighton are being asked to keep an eye on the premises during the holidays in an attempt to cut crime.

The programme has been set up by inspector Bill Whitehead, of Sussex Police. "We are asking people to put up a Schoolswatch sign in their window," he said. "I have briefed staff that if they get a call out to an incident with children on the premises to pass on the details and my team will follow it up with home visits to their parents. Also, we have asked staff out on patrol to pop in on schools to increase the police presence in these areas in the hope it will reduce problems."

There were about 30 reports of crimes at Brighton schools last summer holidays, mostly vandalism and theft.

Eight headteachers in Brighton and Hove have also added personalised letters to the pack, which will be sent to their neighbours, to draw more attention to the problem.

Inspector Whitehead said: "We get reports of windows broken or playground furniture set alight. Potentially, this scheme could save schools quite a lot of money by the end of the summer." hw.

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