Anti-truancy swoop in King’s Lynn
Police and children's workers yesterday joined forces to carry out truancy sweeps across the centre of King's Lynn.
Officers from the King's Lynn North Safer Neighbourhood Team worked with attendance officers from Norfolk children's services.
They stopped any school-age children they found and checked why they weren't in school.
The regular partnership operations across the county aim to return truant children to their schools.
Those caught then have their attendance monitored, to make sure that they don't skip lessons in future.
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They also form part of the police response to day-time anti-social behaviour around the West Norfolk area.
Officers believe many incidents of petty crimes and vandalism are caused by youths who should be in the classroom instead of hanging around the town centre with nothing to do.
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Twenty children were stopped during yesterday's four-hour operation.
All of them were with their parents and gave valid reasons for being absent from school, such as a doctor's appointment.
Following an altercation during one stop, a man and 16-year-old youth were arrested for using abusive and threatening behaviour towards police.
Both the man and the teenager have now been charged with a public order offence and are bailed to appear at King's Lynn Magistrates' Court on Monday, December 6.
Their bail includes a condition not not to enter King's Lynn between now and their court hearing.
Lynn town centre Sgt Trevor Smith said: 'The operations help us identify youngsters at risk of getting into trouble and to take action to prevent any anti-social behaviour escalating.'