Barnstaple schools sign police safety pledge

Joseph Bulmer

Safer Schools Partnership designed to enforce positive police message

BARNSTAPLE’S two secondary schools have both signed up to a new Safer Schools Partnership with police in the town.

The initiative between Park Community School and Pilton Community College and local officers is designed to ensure the schools continue to provide a safe environment in which young people and staff can learn and work.

The new agreement was formally signed on Friday by Louise Miller-Marshall, Pilton Community College principal, and Susan Graham, deputy principal of Park Community School.

Barnstaple Sector Inspector Toby Davies said police neighbourhood teams had worked with both schools during the last three months to agree aims and targets relative to each school.

He said: “Both Park and Pilton have very low crime levels and are high achieving schools and their working relationship with police is excellent.

“The Safer Schools Partnership is designed to formalise this relationship and ensure that we continue to provide a positive presence in schools.”

The partnership document details a number of objectives to help combat problems such as truancy, anti-social behaviour and bullying.

Aims and targets outlined include regular update meetings, drop-in police rooms in each school, and high visibility support from PCSOs at the start and end of the school day.

Sgt Graham Thomas said: “The pro-active scheme will provide the school children with positive images of the police and is not in response to any increase in criminal activity or antisocial behaviour.

“With around 1,500 students at Park, and 1,300 at Pilton, these are two huge communities in Barnstaple and by engaging with these communities in the right way we can set the right example.”