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Prosecution for truant child a warning for others

Waikato Police say parent's prosecution for truant child a warning for others

Eastern Waikato Police and the Ministry of Education believe the recent successful prosecution of a parent for not ensuring their child attends school will ensure other students have every opportunity to succeed.

Area Prevention Manager, Senior Sergeant Rod Carpinter, said the prosecution of the local student's parent was conducted by a joint Police and Ministry of Education team tasked with actively addressing high risk youth noted to be actively avoiding school.

"The team focuses on positive steps to empower parents to assist their children to comply with Ministry of Education direction before resorting to prosecution action.

"Whilst prosecuting a parent is an option for the team, it is seen as a last resort to ensure youth have every chance of achieve within education."

Mr Carpinter said an experienced local Police officer is the chair of the local committee, known as the "Rock-On team" which focuses on high risk students, preventing them opportunities to cause trouble.

"This ultimately assists our community by making Matamata a safer place to live and work. The officer chairing Rock-On is also a member of the Matamata Youth Works team which focuses on ensuring all youth in Matamata are either employed, educated or trained locally.

"So aside from maintaining an enforcement capability as a last resort, Police and local education and service providers are working in partnership to prevent issues escalating to this point. The key thing for parents struggling with ensuring their teen attends school is to take the first step and ask for help."

End

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