Wednesday 09 Sep 2020
It’s not only pupils who have been recently been returning back to school – police officers from the All Wales School Liaison Project have also been heading back to class.
As pupils returned to the ‘new normal’ our SchoolBeat officers have been getting ready to head back to the classroom following six months of disruption due to the coronavirus.
As schools across the country closed their doors back in March, the dedicated team of 16 School Community Police Officers, who are based in primary and secondary schools across the region, went back on the beat to assist their local policing colleagues.
During lockdown duties included being on foot in local communities, making arrests where necessary and being on reassurance patrols in many of our towns – day and night.
Since 2004, School Community Police Officers (SCPO) across Wales have been forging positive relationships with children and young people through delivering important crime prevention and safety lessons, while supporting the schools’ and children’s wellbeing.
The aim of the programme is to work towards achieving crime and disorder reduction within young communities through the medium of education and to promote the principles of positive citizenship, in school and the wider community.
Lessons range from teaching reception class pupils about those who help us to teaching older children about substance misuse, online safety and safeguarding against extremism and radicalisation.
During lockdown a lot of work was also being done behind the scenes on an all Wales basis to develop and create online resources for pupils to do as part of their home schooling.
Mannon Williams, SchoolBeat Coordinator for North Wales Police said: “Over the last few months we have developed a number of resources that allowed children and young people to download and learn at home.
“These included a series of activity books for children between 5 and 11 years, newsletters, leaflets, podcasts and vlogs.
“A ‘Teenage Survival Guide’ was also created which highlighted advice such as healthy relationships and friendships and we have just launched the second edition which highlights internet safety.
“Although the team were not physically in school, they played an instrumental role with the creation of the resources that were designed to support key safeguarding deliveries already presented in schools across the force region and pan Wales during the past year.
She added: “We are still in strange times, however, the officers are pleased to be back connecting with their pupils and are looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
The photograph shows PC Dewi Owen and PC John Wheway