10 Dec 2008

Officers in schools a success, say police

8:26 pm on 10 December 2008

A scheme that has put police in some south Auckland schools appears to be helping curb violence.

The programme started in February, and involves five officers working in 10 schools in the Counties Manukau area, which has in the past been the centre of serious youth gang problems.

Police community services manager Senior Sergeant Mike Fulcher told Nine to Noon the programme has allowed them to develop better relationships with young people, and to keep the influence of gangs out of schools.

He said the officers have got to know about problems earlier and have been able to prevent violence.

Mike Fulcher said the officers have also been able to provide a contact point for young people experiencing violence outside school, which has allowed police to find out and act on issues quickly.

The principal of James Cook High School in Manurewa, Bryan Smith, said a small group of students is always getting into extreme trouble outside school, but they can now work with the police officer in a positive environment.

He said says the success of the programme is s hard to quantify, but believes it has proven its worth.