Police driving truants to school in crackdown
26 June 2012
Children in Wiltshire who fail to turn up for school without a good explanation are being visited by police in a new scheme.
If the children are still in bed, the officers wait until their parents wake them up before escorting them to school in their police car.
The police chief for Amesbury in Wiltshire, where the scheme was launched, said it was already proving to be effective.
Inspector Christian Lange said: “So far, one early morning visit from the police has been enough.
“It’s not good for the parents when their neighbours see us knocking on their doors and taking their kids off to school.”
Working together with Wiltshire Council and local schools, police officers are given a list of children who have not given a good explanation for not appearing at school. These children’s addresses are then visited with the accompaniment of an education welfare officer.
It is hoped that the crackdown on truancy will lead to a reduction in anti-social behaviour among youths.
Insp Lange said: “The correct place for a child of that age to be is in school.
“If they are not in school they are more likely to get into trouble - it’s not good for anyone to be hanging around, doing nothing all day.
“So far we have been very pleased with the results, it is early days but we are taking truancy very seriously.”
Parents have a legal responsibility to ensure that their children attend school until the age of 16.
The police are able to impose fixed penalty notices and fines to parents who renege on this responsibility, while parenting contracts and orders designed to enforce attendance can also be issued.