School Watch is launched in GwyneddPhotograph of pupils, emergency services and local authority staff at the launch


A scheme which aims to encourage everyone to keep an eagle eye on schools across north Wales and safe from crime over the summer break has been launched in Gwynedd.


Pupils from Porthmadog and Bethesda gathered at their local leisure centres this week to launch the School Watch initiative. They had the opportunity to learn about the work of the police and look at the equipment and vehicles used by officers of the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service.


The pupils also had the opportunity to meet with School Community Police Officers, Fire fighters, members of the Community Safety Team, Arson Reduction Team and local Police Community Support Officers.


School Watch aims to get parents, residents, and teachers as well as the emergency services and the local authorities working together to keep schools and their immediate surrounding areas safe and free from crime and anti-social behaviour.


Photograph of pupils, emergency services and local authority staff at BethesdaFire fighters returning from call outs will keep an eye on school buildings while on their way back to their respective stations as will the police helicopter.


Norman Hughes, Crime Reduction Officer for Gwynedd urges members of the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour around school premises. He said: “Schools have a limited budget and valuable resources which should be used to educate children are being diverted to combat theft and criminal damage. School buildings can also become a target for graffiti and vandalism during the long summer break. We rely on members of the public for their support and encourage all to report incidents to the police or anonymously via Crimestoppers.”


Kevin Jones, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service’ Arson Reduction Manager 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.”


Leaflets and posters are being distributed throughout Gwynedd, reminding the public of the scheme which also aims to help stamp out mindless acts which not only affects the school, but the whole community.


Anyone who witnesses suspicious behaviour in or around schools or at school buildings is urged to contact North Wales Police. If you witness a crime in progress always dial 999. Non-emergency calls should be made to 101 or via Crimestoppers Wales anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Campaign posters can be downloaded via this page