Safer Schools Officer
Hello, please allow me to introduce myself.
I am PC 9082 Hayley Howard. I am a Police Officer in Norfolk Constabulary and have been since 1996. Over my career I have worked in urban and rural locations. I have been a Safer Schools Officer since 2010 working at Thetford Academy, before moving to City Academy 2012. It is a role that I enjoy immensely. The help and support I can give to the students and staffs makes this role a very worthwhile and fulfilling job.
So why have Police Officers in schools? Please don’t be concerned, this is a good thing.
A safer schools partnership is a formal agreement between a school and the police to work together in order to keep young people safe, reduce crime and the fear of crime, and to improve behaviour in schools and local communities.
I work closely with the heads of years for the children. My focus is to provide support and assistance to resolve issues impacting on attendance, behaviour and the safeguarding of young people; and to inform and equip all young people to manage risk and keep themselves safe.
Should such a situation occur which affects a child at the academy, then I may become involved if it is deemed appropriate. My involvement rarely amounts to, or warrants an official police investigation. Usually, it amounts to us Woking with staff to fully understand the cause of the problem. I may then work with the school, parents and child to ensure that appropriate interventions and support is put in place to resolve underlying issues. Often I help children to understand all the potential consequences of their actions or the situations they find themselves in. Additionally, if a student, for whatever reason, has dealings with or contact with our policing colleagues outside the school environment, I will follow that encounter up in school to ensure that the young person is ok, they understand what has occurred, and are appropriately supported.
The Academy and Norfolk Police have signed a protocol that we will work together and share information when appropriate. I aim to positively engage and to support all young people on a daily basis so that young people will see beyond the uniform and get to see the Police in a wholly positive light. I am involved in assemblies and in lesson inputs, delivering key messages in relation to internet safety, healthy relationships, crime, anti-social behaviour, young driver education and others. At school, I have an opportunity to intervene early, to keep children safe and to reduce the risks they may encounter on their journey towards adulthood.
The list below, although not exhaustive, best describes what I am to achieve in City Academy Norwich.
- The safety of pupils; staff; 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.
- Safer Schools Partnerships (SSP) help to keep pupils safe, reduce the risk of young people getting drawn into crime or anti-social or extremist behaviour, improve the safety of the school site and surrounding area.
- They build positive relationships between pupils and the police, promote shared values and improve community relations generally within the school and wider community.
- Though an SSP, pupils who engage in anti-social behaviour or crime can be dealt with quickly and appropriately to prevent unnecessary criminalisation. Additionally, pupils who feel threatened by such behaviour or crime can be supported. However , where behaviour fails to improve, or the behaviour is very serious, than tougher enforcement measures may need to be used.
- An SSP is a positive way for schools to demonstrate their commitment to promoting a safe climate of learning and to preventing crime