Safer Schools Police Officer

PC Nick Banlin 

Safer Schools Police Officer 

The Safer School Partnership is a formal agreement between a school or partnership of schools and police to work together in order to keep young people safe, reduce crime and the fear of crime and improve behaviour in schools and their communities.

All SSPOs aim to ensure:

  • the safety of pupils, staff and the school site and surrounding area.
  • help for young people to deal with situations that may put them at risk of becoming victims of crime, bullying or intimidation, and to provide support to those who do.
  • focused enforcement to demonstrate that those who do offend cannot do so without facing consequences.
  • early identification, support and where necessary challenge of pupils involved in or at risk of offending.
  • improved standards of pupil behaviour and attendance, and less need for exclusions.
  • more positive relations between young people and the police and between young people and the wider community.
  • effective approaches to issues beyond the school site that negatively impact on pupil safety and behaviour.

SSPOs help keep pupils safe, reduce the risk of young people getting drawn into crime or antisocial or extremist behaviour, improve the safety of the school site and surrounding area, build positive relationships between pupils and the police, promote shared values and improve community relations generally within the school and wider community.

Through an SSPO, pupils who engage in anti-social behaviour or crime can be dealt with quickly and appropriately to prevent unnecessary criminalisation, and pupils who feel threatened by such behaviour or crime can be supported. However, where behaviour fails to improve, or the behaviour is very serious then tougher enforcement measures may need to be used.

An SSPO is a positive way for all schools to demonstrate their commitment to promoting a safe climate of learning and to preventing crime. Ideally, they should be part of a wider strategy for keeping children and young people safe. They can help deliver the five Every Child Matters outcomes and the local Children’s Plan.

While SSPO’s can bring benefits to all schools in all circumstances, they can also help in preventing and tackling specific issues which individual schools or groups of schools may have, such as:

  • bullying of particular groups and associated issues of racial tension or homophobia for example.
  • violent extremism.
  • Weapons.
  • gang culture and group offending.
  • drugs and alcohol misuse.
  • when challenging pupils move between schools (for example as a result of a managed move or transfer following exclusion from one school).
  • raising pupils’ awareness of specific crime issues, such as tackling financial fraud.
  • working with other agencies on issues of local concern, such as safeguarding, domestic violence or sexual exploitation. SSP officers can also contribute towards Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) and citizenship education.
  • To reduce the risk of children becoming involved in crime through criminal exploitation.
  • To reduce the risk of child sexual exploitation.

The head teacher and staff retain their responsibility for school discipline and behaviour, though looking to their officer for support and advice as necessary. The officer remains an operational police officer and will make his or her own decisions on when and how to intervene in incidents where the law is threatened.

http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/Safer_Schools_Guidance.pdf