Scarva school’s crime-busting project with local residents

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Scarva pupils are trailblazing a new scheme to help keep their school safe from vandals and criminal damage.

Schools Watch is a new project spearheaded by the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) and the PSNI.

The innovative scheme has developed a multi-agency approach something similar to Neighbourhood Watch.

It aims to tackle the scourge of vandalism and criminal damage in which has plagued local schools.

As with Neighbourhood Watch, signs are placed in prominent areas around the school to highlight the fact that local residents are keeping watch and looking out for their local school.

Scarva Primary signed up to the scheme on Thursday June 9.

The pro-active pupils will be involved in delivering letters to households in the vicinity of the school to encourage them to keep an eye out for anything unusual or suspicious around the school.

Plus they will emphasise the importance of reporting any suspicious activity they notice on school grounds to the PSNI.

This will be especially important over the summer months when the school is not being used on a daily basis.

Often durin g the summer months when schools are empty due to the holidays, the buildings become a magnet for those intent on anti-social behaviour, vandalism and criminal damage.

With budgets low and resources limited, it has been deemed important that the community keep an eye out for their local school to keep it safe from damage.

Chair of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership, Alderman Robert Smith, commented: “The ‘School Watch’ campaign is aimed at keeping our school buildings safe and secure and to try and combat crime in and around the school premises.

“I would urge everyone to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour they see to the local Police.”

Other schools in the area are also enrolled in the scheme including Lismore Comprehensive in Craigavon.