Learning about crime

LAST week saw the first of a joint police and education event called Policing Beyond the Playground, held at the Scottish Police College at Tulliallan.

Galloway was well represented with PCs Nicola McFaden and Alison Hannah representing the Douglas Ewart High School. They were joined by depute head teacher, Kenny MacKenzie.

Stranraer Academy sent along PC Ronnie Boyce and depute head teacher Helen-Marie Bradley. Accompanying them was PC Ian Bradley, who represented Castle Douglas High School, Kirkcudbright Academy, Dalry Secondary and Dalbeattie High School.

Policing Beyond the Playground was facilitated by Chief Inspector Ian Morris, who is based in Tulliallan and co-ordinates the national Violence Reduction Unit. Chief Inspector Morris had made the journey to Kirkcudbright the previous week where he met with police officers involved in school-based work and head teachers and their deputes from throughout the region.

At the national conference Chief Inspector Morris paid tribute to the evident success of the partnership in Dumfries and Galloway, and the mutual respect and trust shown by the police officers and school staff.

One of the most powerful talks of the day came from Detective Inspector Eamonn Keane, who spoke of the police work involved in e-crime and internet safety. All present agreed that this is a major problem in schools across Scotland, with young people utilising social networking sites and posting illegal and inappropriate material on networks.

Mrs Bradley said: “This really was an eye-opener. Like many adults, I am trailing behind the youngsters in terms of technology but schools and, in particular, parents need to be more vigilant about their young person’s activity online.”