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Truants Caught in Central Wellington Round-Up

Truants Caught in Central Wellington Round-Up
New Zealand Police Wellington News Release
3:44pm 11 August 2006

Six truants were caught, including two girls who had been reported missing from their homes, in a joint Wellington City Area Police and District Truancy Service operation yesterday.

Four police Youth Services staff, the Wellington police Iwi liaison officer and two District Truancy Service officers walked the central city looking for truants in the central business district yesterday afternoon.

Senior Constable Barney Soutar, Kilbirnie Youth Aid, says truancy has been an on-going problem and yesterday's operation was the first of several planned for the coming months.

In the two-hour period officers found 26 school age students, in and out of uniform, in the CBD. "Twenty of them had legitimate reasons for being out of school and only six truants were identified. Five were found in the Courtenay Place area and one at the Railway Station."

Senior Constable Soutar says follow-up action has been taken with their respective schools.

Two of the six had been reported missing - one was returned home and the other delivered to Child, Youth and Family Service.

"It was a pleasing result in terms of the low number of actual truants found, and that we located the missing girls," Senior Constable Soutar says. "However, one truant in the Wellington CBD is one truant too many.

"Anecdotal evidence suggests there is less truanting in the cooler months. It will be interesting to see the results of future operations planned for the spring and summer."


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