Targeting truancy in Canterbury

A big focus for Canterbury District Police over the May and June period will be looking at ways of reducing opportunities for youth offenders to commit crimes.

This will be part of a larger target to reduce the overall amount of youth crime in the district.

Truancy will be a particular focus for this, and Police will be working alongside local schools and truancy agencies to look at what can be done to reduce the number of students skipping school.

“During this time, our staff will be conducting patrols for areas that are known to be hangouts for teenagers skipping class,” says Senior Sergeant Stephen McDaniel, Christchurch East Community Services Manager.

“We will also be conducting regular truancy sweeps of malls, libraries and bus terminals, as well as making home visits if we are made aware of students who are believed to be truant."

There often can be many factors that can contribute to a child wanting to skip school, other than just a general disinterest in going, however Police do stress to parents and guardians the importance of making sure their children actually do attend school regularly.

“Legislation under the Education Act 1989 ensures children between 6 and 16 must be enrolled at a registered school and attend, and this is enforceable.”

“All parents need to be aware that there is a link between truancy and youths being offenders, or victims of crime,” says Senior Sergeant McDaniels.

“We know this isn't always an easy task, especially when dealing with rebellious teenagers, so if your child is skipping school and you don't know what to do we advise getting in touch with the school as they are likely to have advice on what to do."

SOURCE: NZ Police



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