§ 2. Mr. Dormand
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will encourage chief constables to run schemes for visits to schools by police officers on request, to talk to pupils about the work of the police.
§ The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. David Waddington)
Forces throughout England and Wales already operate schemes for police officers to visit schools on a regular basis to talk to pupils about the work of the police. Chief officers know that they have my right hon. Friend's full support in all their efforts to make contact with young people.
§ Mr. Dormand
Not all local education authorities are convinced about such a scheme. Does the Minister agree that this type of scheme has considerable merit? Will he ask his right hon. Friend to make an assessment of all the schemes that have been introduced to disseminate what he considers to be good practice to the police forces? In view of the increase in vandalism, is it not important that we explore every possible avenue to reduce vandalism—for example, by police visiting schools?
§ Mr. Waddington
I agree with the hon. Gentleman that there is no doubt about the merits of these schemes. Virtually all forces are involved with schools either through special liaison officers or local beat officers. I shall pass on to my right hon. Friend what the hon. Gentleman has said about the possibility of our assessing how various schemes are working and giving advice.
§ Mr. Hannam
In view of the sharp increase in drug-taking in schools, and in conjunction with the scheme, will my hon. and learned Friend ask chief constables to pay attention to the provision of information about the dangers of experimentation in drugs?
§ Mr. Waddington
I hope that chief constables do. I shall bear in mind the point made by my hon. Friend.