A better way than feeling collars

20th October 2000 at 01:00
POLICE in Lothian and Borders are to create a network of co-ordinating officers. Each of the force's six divisions will map out a year-round programme of input into school-based personal and social education. Materials will be produced at headquarters by a newly appointed drug and education development officer.

The moves are part of a youth strategy launched last week and replace an ad hoc system of contact between community constables and headteachers.

Chief Constable Sir Roy Cameron said: "We want to standardise our engagements with schools and, along with our colleagues in the local authority education authorities, to get a better analysis o the effectiveness of police involvement in education."

In tackling youth crime, "we cannot rely on law enforcement alone", Sir Roy said.

The strategy also includes the appointment of 12 extra officers as part of a nationwide programme under the auspices of the Scottish Drugs Enforcement Agency to undertake drugs education work in both schools and the community.

Lothian and Borders does not plan a Grampian-style unit to work solely in schools. Inspector Phil O'Kane, of the community safety branch, said: "Our links are in the communities. Officers who only visited schools could become isolated from what else was happening there."

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