On the beat: How the police is helping disrupt youth criminality

BCU Commander Sara Leach

BCU Commander Sara Leach - Credit: Met Police

The beginning of the new school year is upon us and the return of young people to schools and colleges changes our policing priorities. 

We are looking to prevent and disrupt criminality after school and at weekends; making Barnet, Brent and Harrow safer for our younger population.

This term, Safer Schools and Youth Engagement officers will be working with our local Safer Transport and Safer Neighbourhood Teams, as well as partner agencies such as British Transport Police, headteachers and staff from the many schools across the three boroughs. 

Collectively, they will ensure that common routes to and from schools, areas where pupils are known to congregate after school, and transport hubs, are well populated by police officers. 

These proactive patrols; both high visibility and in plain clothes, will allow us to deter offending, gather intelligence and respond quickly to requests for assistance.

In addition to this, there will be a strong focus on educating the young people themselves. 

Safer Schools officers will be engaging with pupils in secondary schools; delivering presentations around personal safety, robbery and knife crime and giving them the opportunity to ask questions directly of officers.

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This builds on the work over the summer holidays; in Brent and Harrow, where summer camps were held at Newman Catholic College and Harrow School – delivering a mixture of fun activities, sports and direct contact with officers - and allows the education to be delivered on a wider scale. 

Furthermore, parents, guardians, teachers and local residents will be invited to ‘walk along’ with officers to learn more about the aim of this initiative, voice their concerns and find out how we intend to address them.

Children and young people are influenced by those around them; be that their family members, teachers, friends or neighbours. Please, take the time to educate those children on personal safety. Help us to help you.

Barnet, Brent and Harrow each have a Volunteer Police Cadet unit; all of which provide a safe space for young people to interact with others outside of school whilst offering unique opportunities to participate in policing operations throughout the year. For more information, go to www.met.police.uk