School bobbies: police criticise ministers

14th March 2008 at 00:00
Chief police officers say a scheme basing bobbies in schools has been hindered by a lack of training and a ministerial failure to promote it. The TES can reveal that the Government does not know how many schools are taking part, despite both Gordon Brown and Ed Balls, the Children, Schools and Families Secretary, using "safer schools partnerships" to garner favourable headlines.

Participating police officers, such as PC Dave Inglis (pictured), who is based at Small Heath School in Birmingham, have been impressed by its benefits. Heads, pupils and academics praised it for reducing crime and truancy.

But Inspector Ian Carter, youth issues officer for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: "It needs to be properly resourced and there needs to be more training."

Another officer, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "The programme calls itself a partnership but the Home Office, DCSF (Department for Children, Schools and Families) and Youth Justice Board have failed to work together."

A DCSF spokesman said it did not collect the statistics on police numbers because the partnerships were local arrangements.

Playground PCs, page 19.

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