School crimes revealed as Kingston police record hundreds of call-outs

Police called to 244 crimes at Kingston's schools over two year period

Police called to 244 crimes at Kingston's schools over two year period

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Police were called out 244 times to deal with alleged crimes including sexual offences and violence at schools in the borough in just over two years.

Theft and handling incidents resulted in officers making the most appearances at Kingston schools and nurseries between January 2012 and the end of April 2014.

Of the 128 such callouts, 49 alleged victims of theft were pupils aged four to 18, although only five people were prosecuted – four of whom were under 18.

Conservative Councillor Andrea Craig, lead for children, youth and adult learning, said: “We have a very strong positive working relationship with the police. It is difficult to comment on the numbers because I don’t know the details.

“As a council we are supportive of schools when they are dealing with serious crimes.”

The information comes from a Freedom of Information request submitted by the Surrey Comet asking for the number of police callouts to borough schools.

Data showed more than half of the recorded attacks of school violence police were called out to were against children, with 54 call outs, 34 child victims and 10 prosecutions – one of which was against a person under 18.

Figures also showed criminal damage, drug offences and burglary were reasons officers attended schools – although none of the alleged victims of these crimes were aged between four and 18.

A request for the dates and names of schools where these offences were alleged to have happened, and the ages of the culprits, were denied to avoid identifying victims.

Earlier this year police were called out to Malden Manor Primary School after a nine-year-old brought a penknife to school and allegedly told a fellow student to stab a classmate.

Chief inspector Bill Heasman said: “Kingston police will respond to all calls to attend schools across the borough to provide the best level of service possible.

"We have an excellent working relationship with our headteachers and staff and also have a dedicated team of officers who work very closely with both our primary and secondary schools."

John Trend, director at youth charity Oxygen who works with troubled young people in the borough, said: "Each case has to be taken into account individually.

“For some it is positive that the police are involved but for others it may be a knee-jerk reaction.

"I hope police are dealing with young people in an appropriate way and not just criminalising them."

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