Curfews round up truants

10th September 2004 at 01:00
Curfews are being used by police to keep young people off the streets - and one senior police officer with three in his patch said he could make a case for 300.

Clive Wolfendale, deputy chief constable of North Wales police, said many of the youngsters making local residents' lives hell in Conwy, Holyhead and Wrexham are school truants.

The force has dispersal orders covering parts of each town, which allow officers to take home any children aged 16 or under found out on the streets between 9pm and 6am.

DCC Wolfendale said: "The correlation with truancy is high. We have just recruited 16 school liaison officers. For some years, we were not very welcome but we are going back into schools to talk about anti-social behaviour, drugs and bullying, and we are pleased about that.

"No one wants to kick young people around the streets, from corner to corner. We are trying to roll back three generations of neglect. We are talking about children of parents who have lived their lives in this way.

"The key to this is education. We have got to instil that there is a better way of spending time than hanging around under lamp-posts trying to acquire booze under-age, and getting some satisfaction from making life a misery for others."

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