Safe Schools & Communities Team
The Safe Schools & Communities Team (SSCT) is a partnership between Dorset Police and the Dorset Combined Youth Offending Service, with a remit to prevent and reduce anti-social behaviour, crime and wrong-doing amongst children and young people, and help keep them safe in a digital world.
From September 2017, the SSCT will be supporting online safety education in a new way. We will be providing sessions for Years 2, 6, 8, 10 and 16+, parents education and staff training. To support these sessions and a new education material hub has been designed to assist professionals to educate children and young people about online safety. This will enable us to resource the increasing demand for targeted work and ensure where incidents have occurred we are able to deal with them in a timely manner.
Three main SSCT focus areas:
This involves education to children and young people, professionals and parents in the following areas:
- Alcohol and drug misuse
- Anti-social behaviour
- Child sexual exploitation
- Domestic abuse
- Health relationships
- Preventing gang culture
- Preventing violent extremism
This includes the BLITZ project together with Dorset Fire and Rescue, which looks at the dangers and consequences of underage drinking and anti-social behaviour and the GRiP (Gaining Respect in People) road shows for year 7 students that cover diversity, weapons, preventing gang culture and anti-social behaviour.
The team’s Safe Schools and Communities Officers work closely with schools and communities to deliver advice and interventions on all these topics.
The SSCT operates the Dorset Police Triage service with the aim of responding more effectively to school and internet incidents. Reports to the police relating to incidents involving school pupils, which take place while in an educational setting, as well as youth internet safety incidents will be referred to the SSCT to manage.
The types of incidents that may be dealt with via this route include: Bullying (including low-level school assaults), E-Safety, drugs (where appropriate), low-level school thefts, anti-social behaviour, personal safety advice, behavioural issues, inappropriate use of language and criminal damage. The aim of this initiative is to support young people, parents, carers and their schools to deal with these incidents appropriately, proportionately and effectively.
Where appropriate, the Safe Schools and Communities Officers will give one-to-one education to young people and advice to parents/carers and professionals working with young people.
The SSCT lead on the management of youth out of court disposals (youth restorative disposals, youth cautions and youth conditional cautions). The Safe Schools and Communities Officers are trained in Restorative Justice practitioners so they take part in Restorative Justice conferences that deal with bullying, shoplifting and possession of drugs and also in retail and drugs workshops as part of the rehabilitative conditions of youth conditional cautions.