Police ask pupils to shop their 'naughty' friends

PUBLISHED: 09:10 21 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:22 24 May 2010

POLICE are looking to put special phones and letterboxes in schools across Weston and Worle so youngsters can tell them if their friends commit crimes or antisocial behaviour. The plans came after a meeting between Weston's Sector Inspector Yan Georgiou a

POLICE are looking to put special phones and letterboxes in schools across Weston and Worle so youngsters can tell them if their friends commit crimes or antisocial behaviour.The plans came after a meeting between Weston's Sector Inspector Yan Georgiou and council chiefs in Worle following a spate of incidents.In the last two weeks buses have been shot at and over 50 tyres have been slashed in the area.Insp Georgiou says he hopes schools will agree to introduce post boxes and phones into reception areas where pupils could write details of crimes and criminals onto slips, or call Crimestoppers, giving them 'community intelligence'. Insp Georgiou said: "Children are a mass of information. They know what's going on and we hope to get kids to tell us what other kids are doing. The kids know who the gang leaders are."We are not looking at turning young people into witnesses and this is something we need to remain mindful of. Any crime they may be aware of and wish to talk about can be done anonymously, although many youths are happy to give their names." Insp Georgiou is also looking at setting up a pilot scheme in schools to encourage children to become community aware, responsible and vigilant and to report any crimes they hear of to the police. He has already started negotiations with one school in the area regarding the scheme. Insp Georgiou is then hoping to sell the message of Crimestoppers directly to schools during assemblies.The inspector unveiled the plans at a Weston Town Council meeting on Tuesday. He told the Weston Mercury: "I am aware of gangs that are victimising residents and we are looking at ways of dealing with the problem. One scheme is to issue 142 forms."The 142 forms are issued to teens with low-grade antisocial behaviour and parents receive a letter from the police. Details are then logged on a database. Those that re-offend will receive a home visit from a beat officer. If the visit is unsuccessful then an antisocial behaviour contract or order (ABC or ASBO) is possible.The scheme, which has been trialled in Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead, has been hailed a success, with only two out of 79 teens that received the 142 form re-offending.

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