Crackdown on students playing truant

Insp Jackie Turton
Insp Jackie Turton

A CRACKDOWN on school truants in Hemsworth and South Elmsall has been hailed a success.

The South Kirkby neighbourhood police team (NPT) joined forces with Wakefield Council educational welfare officers to patrol truanting hotspots, such as shopping areas, in search of young people suspected of skipping school.

The officers found 12 young people who did not have a valid reason for missing school and they were returned to class.

Letters will be sent to their parents informing them of their child’s behaviour.

The officers also visited addresses of youngsters who regularly miss school.

Further truancy crackdowns are planned following the success of this one.

Inspector Jackie Turton, from the NPT, said: “The welfare of the children is our main concern, but truancy can also lead to an increased likelihood of involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour.

“Any young person who does not attend school will not only miss out on their education, but it could also affect their employment prospects and cause stress to their family in cases of prosecution.”

PC Bridget Brown, Wakefield District Police youth and school’s officer, said: “This was extremely effective joint operation between ourselves and Wakefield Council’s educational welfare officers in terms of getting young people back into school and raising awareness among parents of the implications of allowing their children not to attend a school.

“More are planned in the near future.”