Schoolwatch scheme launched in Conwy CountyPhotograph with representatives from the police, fire and Ysgol Porth y Felin

28/06/2012

A scheme which encourages residents to keep an eye on their local school has been launched in Conwy.

 

In conjunction with the Conwy and Denbighshire Community Safety Partnership, the School Watch initiative aims to get parents, residents, and teachers as well as the emergency services and the local authorities, working together to keep schools and the immediate surrounding area safe and free from crime and anti-social behaviour.

 

Primary school pupils at Ysgol Porth y Felin in Conwy met with officers from the local neighbourhood policing team, Community Safety, Arson Reduction Team, the Fire and Rescue Service and the Education Department of Conwy County Borough Council this week.

 

Community Safety Officer Ifan Hughes said: “With schools about to close over the summer holidays we are urging members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour they see around school premises.

 

“Previously there have been incidents where school buildings have been subject to vandalism and graffiti. We are simply asking people who live near a school to be extra vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour to officers.”

 

He added: “This is the eighth year that we have been running this initiative, and we have seen a drop in the number of problems being reported, however we are not complacent. This is something that we can all get involved with. If you live near a school, or live in a house that overlooks a school, or even if you walk or drive past a school, then you can help.”

 

Tom Pye, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service Partnership Manager for Conwy and Denbighshire said: “Historically, schools have suffered from incidents such as deliberate fires and vandalism and this partnership approach aims to tackle the problems before they occur."

 

Mr Dilwyn Griffiths, Headteacher of Ysgol Porth y Felin said: “This is something which we welcome. Schools are particularly vulnerable during the holiday period, so the more we can work with parents and other members of the community to try and prevent criminal damage to the school, the less likely the possibility of any disruption to the children and their education.”

 

Special signs, which have been funded by the Arson Reduction Team, will be placed on school railings and gates and over 8,000 leaflets and posters have also been distributed throughout Conwy and Denbighshire. The initiative will be rolled out to other areas of the Force over the next two weeks.

 

Firefighters returning from call outs will also keep an eye on school buildings whilst on their way back to their respective stations as will the North Wales Police helicopter.

 

Anyone who witnesses any suspicious behaviour in or around schools or school buildings is asked to contact North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers Wales anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.

 

Remember: Do you live near or overlook a school? Do you walk or drive past a school on a regular basis? If the answer is YES then you can help!

 

Take a few seconds to look at the school.

 

If you see it – report it!

 

Call North Wales Police on 101.

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