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Canterbury: Truancy Operation

Truancy Operation
New Zealand Police Canterbury News Release
3:04pm 18 June 2008

On Tuesday 17 June 2008 Christchurch Police and the Christchurch Truancy Service conducted another successful operation targeting students who were absent from Christchurch schools.

This is the latest in an ongoing series of inter-agency Youth Services projects designed to identify and minimise the risks posed to these young people and their communities.

The Police use Youth Education Officers, Youth Aid Officers and the Youth Crime Unit staff, as these Police staff are very skilled at dealing with young people, and they know many of the truants.

"The operation targeted youths who are regular truants by visiting their homes as well as patrolling through malls, parks and other locations where they are likely to be," Sergeant Mather says. "The youths were apprehended and returned to their school."

In yesterday's operation, Police and Truancy Officers located 48 students absent from their schools. In all cases they were spoken to and, where appropriate, uplifted and delivered back to their schools. Follow up action will be taken with their parents or caregivers.

Sergeant Andrea Mather said there is a direct link between young people failing to attend school and crime.

She emphasised that the Police are focussed on Crime and Crash reduction. Increasing attendance and participation in school by young people is a key factor in reducing offending and anti-social behaviour, said Sergeant Mather.

It is the parent/caregivers responsibility to report their child absent from school. Truancy Officers advise that it is illegal fro a child to be absent from school unless sick or attending a funeral or tangi.

"We are disappointed in the high number of students absent from the class room without a legitimate reason," says Sergeant Mather. "Parents/caregivers allowing their child to be absent are not assisting with their child's education."


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