Pupils are launching a safety scheme with neighbourhood police, Tower Hamlets Council and the London Citizens organisation following concerns about safety when they leave school.
SchoolsWatch is to be rolled out across the East End with 12 secondaries signing up. A pilot kicks off at Bethnal Green Academy tomorrow with youngsters being accompanied along monitored routes by neighbourhood police officers, teachers and volunteer sixform ‘student wardens’.Now, why would there be 'concerns about safety'?
The Met’s Borough Commander for Tower Hamlets, Chief Supt Dave Stringer, said: “This will help security and increase the perception of safety as well as contribute to a sense of well being.”Interesting choice of words - 'increase the perception of safety'...
The scheme involves mapping safer routes between schools and bus-stops, including whatever CCTV is available, then recommending those routes to the youngsters.
It also includes ‘safe havens’ such as shops, businesses, social housing sites or other suitable venues to give temporary refuge for a child if needed. The ‘safe havens’ were introduced by London Citizens last summer in the school neighbourhood around Columbia Road and Hackney Road.Never do they say why these 'safe havens' and school patrols might be needed.
School principal Mark Keary said: “The safety of our children is every adult’s responsibility. This scheme protects them and also develops a sense of civic responsibility.”Actually, if 'the safety of other people's children' is my responsibility, perhaps I should have a say in what's done about it. Do you think head teacher (we aren't Yanks, chum!) Mark Keary would like my proposals?
No. I don't think so either.