The BBC is reporting that more than 30,000 alleged crimes linked to schools were reported to police in 2014.
The figure – for England, Wales and Northern Ireland – is equivalent to 160 allegations per school day. Theft and violent crime were the most common types of offence to be reported…
Data was collated from 32 forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which responded to a Freedom of Information request from the Victoria Derbyshire programme.
It is not known how many reports led to convictions.
A total of 30,394 crimes were reported place at primary schools, secondary schools and further education establishments – excluding universities – in 2014, according to the data of 32 forces. In 2013, there were 28,444 crime reports.
Theft, burglary or robbery was the most common offence, with 13,003 incidents reported. There were 9,319 reports of violent crime, 4,106 reports of criminal damage or arson, and 754 reported drugs offences.
Some forces did not provide data on sexual offences, citing the Data Protection Act. But in the 25 that did respond fully, 1,502 crimes were recorded.
The largest number of crimes were reported to the Metropolitan Police, Greater Manchester Police and West Midlands Police.
Supt Laurence Taylor – the policing lead for children and young people at a regional level – believes it is key for police forces to have a continued footprint in schools.
“If we don’t get it right with policing in schools, we miss opportunities to intervene at an early stage to prevent children’s behavioural issues becoming more problematic in later life,” he said.
“It is important we break down barriers between children and police, intervene early when problems do arise and support schools in pupils’ education [regarding issues such as online safety].”
…A government spokesman said: “Crime and violent behaviour have no place in our schools.
“We have put teachers back in charge of the classroom.
“They can search pupils without consent, confiscate prohibited items and use reasonable force to remove disruptive pupils from the classroom when necessary.
“We know many good schools already work with the police and other organisations to educate pupils and protect them from harm and involvement in crime.”
How do you feel about these figures?
They represent an increase of nearly 7% on the previous year which sounds fairly significant, although that could obviously be a result of more crimes being discovered – possibly because of the increased teacher powers described – or more crimes being reported – rather than more crimes actually being committed.
What do you think the best approaches to discouraging crime in schools are and what role do you believe the police should have?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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