Two new communities are set to reap the rewards of campus cops in their local secondary schools. South Ayrshire Council has agreed to fund two new posts for Queen Margaret Academy and Girvan Academy in partnership with Police Scotland, meaning all Council secondary schools will now be covered.
Since they were first introduced in November 2007, campus cops have become common sights, with officers helping young people to understand the work of local Police, identifying and resolving community issues, encouraging volunteering, while also providing diversionary activities to help reduce antisocial behaviour.
South Ayrshire Council has now agreed to fund two new posts, which are jointly funded by Police Scotland, with nearly £48,000 being made available for 2018/19, with the figure including £8,000 for one-off costs to install secure communication systems in schools, allowing officers to spend more time on campus. The Council has also committed to retain the posts from 2019/20 onwards.
Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning said the investment would reap long-term rewards, "With the success of campus cops in our schools already well established, it makes sense to expand their work to include Queen Margaret and Girvan Academies.
"While the officers will be based out of our secondary schools we expect them to work with primary pupils too meaning the benefits of this worthwhile initiative will soon be felt by every single one of our schools.
"We hope to have the posts in place for the start of the new school year and, in future, have pledged to increase our funding for these valuable posts in partnership with colleagues in Police Scotland."
Chief Inspector Gary I'Anson, Area Commander for South Ayrshire added, "Our campus officers play a crucial role in the engagement and partnership work we carry out with young people and the benefits are far reaching.
"This can be seen in the work done to support national campaigns such as 'No Knives Better Lives' and the Curriculum for Excellence, as well as receiving recognition at the annual Policing awards for contributions towards the 'Choice for Life' initiative.
"The officers that undertake these roles value the 'real time' benefits of developing strong working relationships with pupils, teachers and parents."
The full paper, 'Campus Police Officers – request for two additional posts' can be found here.