At Rooks Heath we are fortunate to be fully involved in the Safer Schools Policing Scheme, which we find to be very beneficial for our school community.
What is Safer Schools Policing?
Currently a named police officer is attached to four secondary schools, including Rooks Heath, in the Harrow borough. In addition, there are five other police officers who cover other schools within Harrow. This arrangement has been in place since November 2018.
At the beginning of every term the school's Police Liaison Officer (Mr Todd) meets with members of our safer schools team to set out a SEP (secondary engagement programme). This programme explains the type of contact, including presentations, that the team can offer our students.
The ethos of Safer School Policing is prevention and engagement through being seen and through education, rather than law enforcement.
What kind of contact do Safer Schools Officers have with students?
Presentations to students are on topics such as drugs, knife crime, cyber bullying, online safety, CSE (child sexual exploitation), and mobile phone theft amongst others.
Students have also been taken on visits, for example to the Ben Kinsella Trust, which educates young people about the consequences of their choices, so that they stay safe and away from crime, including knife crime.
Safer Schools Officers also help to staff the school gates at the end of each school day, to reassure students as they leave the premises.
What do Safer School Officers see as the best part of this role?
The best part of the role is dealing with students on a more personal level, rather than just as a police officer. Being present in school can help to make students feel safe, and working within schools helps to reduce crime in the borough.
How does Rooks Heath liaise with the Police?
As mentioned, the school has a Police Liaison Officer, who is Mr Todd. He is the first point of contact for the police at Rooks Heath. His role is to liaise with the safer schools team about any issue which may require police involvement or advice. He is also responsible for the delivery of assemblies given by police, together with any police led PSE lessons. He also attends meetings within the borough which contribute to Rooks Heath being a safer school.