Police target robberies at Islington schools
PUBLISHED: 15:50 17 September 2011 | UPDATED: 12:02 19 September 2011
As secondary schools across the borough welcome pupils back for the new term, Islington police are out in force to keep children safe from street robberies.
Islington has a dedicated officer for each senior school - as high as anywhere in London - and they have been targeting year seven students, giving them advice on how to keep their possessions safe.
In addition, police have been stepping up patrols after school time and have conducted weapons sweeps of all secondary schools prior to the new term, as well as checking school routes on an ongoing basis.
The scheme, undertaken every year, has been made easier because extra resources are available as part of Operation Target, a London wide crackdown on street robberies.
Sergeant Adrian Needley, of the Islington safer schools team, said: “We do this year on year, it’s going on all the time. We have more officers for schools than other boroughs and they go in to talk to the new pupils about crime prevention – things like not getting their phone out in public, registering theirre possessions on Immobilise.com and so on. We are working with shopkeepers so children know if they are being chased or anything they can go in a shop and get help.
“Normally we do this work in the first two weeks of term, but this year we will be carrying on until around half term. We had no robberies of school pupils in the first week, so that’s a real positive.”
Islington has had a bad year for robberies, with 613 from January to July, compared with 512 for the same period in 2010.
June was the worst month, with 120 incidents recorded.