Police target kids skipping school

Police are appealing for witnesses after nightclub attack.
Police are appealing for witnesses after nightclub attack.

Police have stepped up patrols to catch children skipping school.

A total of 15 kids were stopped and questioned during a month-long truancy patrol between CMK and Wolverton.

Most had legitimate reasons for being out of school, officers said. However, when this was not the case, young people were “taken to a designated place of safety and then returned home”.

Councillor Norman Miles, Lead Member for Children and School Improvement, has praised the three patrols carried out by Thames Valley Police in partnership with the council.

He said: “These patrols show how seriously we take truancy – not only are vital days at school missed but being out on the streets during the school day leaves children at risk of abuse and exploitation.”

The authority for the patrols comes under Section 16 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

In addition, the Children Act 2004 states that councils have a duty to cooperate with partners with regards to improving the wellbeing of its children.

Organisations that regularly join the patrols include Compass - Young People’s Substance Misuse Service, and Brook – the UK’s largest young people’s sexual health charity.

Colin Mayo, Senior Attendance Officer at Milton Keynes Council, said: “Children who truant are more likely to be vulnerable and susceptible to things like child sexual exploitation.

“The patrols provide us with an opportunity to visit hotspots and take action to ensure children are kept safe.”