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Last Updated: Monday, 27 August 2007, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
'Campus cops' cutting youth crime
School wire
The council said youth disorder was being tackled in schools
A Scottish council has claimed it is bucking the national trend of rising youth disorder.

East Renfrewshire Council links its success to the appointment of police officers to three secondary schools.

Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill, who is interested in alternatives to Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, has visited one of the pilot schools.

In one year the level of vandalism, street drinking and assault has dropped by 14%, the council said.

It also said preliminary figures for the summer show a similar decline.

Council leaders believe it is because of a scheme to steer teenagers away from trouble.

Impending trouble

Police officers are stationed in Barrhead, Eastwood and Woodfarm High Schools.

Their role is to identify youngsters at risk of going off the rails and build up a relationship with them - through chat in the playground, fishing trips or in more formal meetings.

Pupils sometimes warn them of impending trouble which means, for example, some gang fights can be avoided.

Mr McAskill visited Barrhead High School on Monday afternoon.

Council leader Jim Fletcher said: "We are very happy to welcome Mr McAskill to outline to him how we have worked closely together to help steer potential young troublemakers out of getting into the criminal justice system."

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