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Last Updated: Monday, 23 August, 2004, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Police target school pupils
North Wales Police school liaison officers
Sixteen school liaison officers will go back to school
Schoolchildren in north Wales are being targeted by police to ensure they do not get involved in any violent behaviour.

Sixteen school liaison officers have been appointed to work in classrooms throughout the region.

They will be working with children who are at risk of becoming victims of crime or offenders.

Among the topics tackled as part of the lessons will be bullying and drug and substance misuse.

"School days are not always as rosy as we'd like to think," said Deputy Chief Constable Clive Wolfendale.

Teachers are not experts at everything
John Grisdale, school liaison co-ordinator

"We want children to trust police officers who can help them in tackling bullying, substance misuse and misbehaviour," he added.

The scheme will see police officers in schools across north Wales from September.

They will be based at police stations to begin with, and will attend the schools on a regular basis to talk to pupils as part of their personal education classes.

However, school liaison co-ordinator John Grisdale said they could eventually be based inside schools.

He said the new roles will allow pupils to get used to seeing police officers to talk to and "learn more about specific issues".

"Officers have a wealth of experience that they can draw upon," he said.

"It's all about reinforcing what other people are saying and teachers may not be aware of the intricacies of breaking the law.

"Teachers are not experts at everything," he added.

Offenders

The school liaison officers will not take over from community beat managers, who will still visit local schools.

Rather, Mr Grisdale says they will be more involved in curriculum issues and teaching youngsters about the law.

In recent months, North Wales Police have got tough with offending youngsters, with a crackdown on anti-social behaviour in the Wrexham villages of Brynteg and Southsea.

From July, children under 16 congregating in groups can be sent home under new police powers.

The new legislation, part of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 will be in force from 19 July to midnight of 14 November.




SEE ALSO:
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Card scheme targets teenagers
20 Aug 03  |  North East Wales


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