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Copy of email received Wednesday 23rd March, 2011

Patrols target lesson dodgers .....

Wednesday March 23, 2011

Special patrols have been sweeping parts of the Wakefield district to crack down on school truants.

Wakefield South East and North West Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Wakefield Council Educational Welfare Officers have been on patrol working with schools targeting suspected lesson dodgers at hotspots such as shopping parades.

Areas targeted in the South East of the District included Hemsworth and Minsthorpe. Twelve youths were identified as not having authorised absence and returned to school. Letters will be sent to their parents to inform them of their behaviour.

Areas targeted in the North West were Ossett, Horbury and Lupset. Twelve young people were returned to school or remained at home but their parents or carers were spoken to. The patrols also visited 18 addresses of youngsters who regularly missed school.

Inspector Jackie Turton, of South East 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 Schools 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."

Wakefield North West Neighbourhood Policing Team
Tel no: 01924 294 671

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