What is the Wales Police Schools Programme (WPSP)
The WPSP is an example of Partnership Working between the Welsh
Government and the four Welsh Police Forces and consists of a series of
Crime Prevention lesson deliveries and Supportive School Policing
initiatives that aim to:
- educate children and young people about the harm substance misuse can cause to their health, their families and the wider community
- promote the principles of positive citizenship through the medium of education
- achieve a reduction in the levels of crime and disorder within our young communities.
The WPSP provides a wrap-around service to schools in Wales offering crime prevention education and supportive policing services captured in the Programme’s strap line,
Police safeguarding the children of Wales through crime prevention education
There are 68 School Police Officers (SPO) who in addition to their professional training as Police Officers take a child centred approach and are trained to deliver lessons on the themes of substance misuse, personal safety, safeguarding and behaviour and community to a best practice educational standard that is warmly welcomed by schools.
They are also able to offer a wide variety of assembly presentations. The assemblies offer flexibility and ensure the WPSP keeps pace with emerging threats, trends and issues. A series of vlogs and other materials are also available on our dedicated SchoolBeat.cymru website.
The Programme has a corporate approach to ensure that all children, 5 to 16 years old across Wales receive the same accurate and up to date information.
The SPOs work closely with Pastoral, Behaviour and Safeguarding leads in schools to support the newly developing Health and Well-being curriculum.
SPOs also support schools through supportive policing practices; dealing with incidents using the School Crime Beat policy and offering restorative resolutions including restorative conferencing when required.
Why was the Wales Police Schools Programme developed?
The WPSP was developed to educate young people about some of the challenges that affect our society today. The intention of the Programme is to work with schools to safeguard all children and young people living in Wales by providing them with current information about the dangers associated with issues such as substance use and misuse, County Lines, domestic abuse, exploitation, bullying, anti-social behaviour, internet safety, weapons, radicalisation and community cohesion.
It is important that children are provided with accurate up to date information by specialists to ensure they are able to make correctly informed decisions and hopefully avoid entry into the Criminal Justice System as well as signposting them to help and support.
The Programme encourages positive citizenship and through prevention seeks to protect vulnerable children and young people who may become victims of criminal activity.