Bo’ness Academy will have a campus police officer

Bo'ness Academy will have a campus police officer
Bo'ness Academy will have a campus police officer

Education bosses have agreed to place a full time police officer in all eight secondary schools in the Falkirk area, including Bo’ness Academy.

The decision taken by members of Falkirk Council’s education committee on Tuesday means it will be the first local authority in Scotland to have campus police officers in every one of its secondary schools, with officers scheduled to be in place before the start of the summer holidays.

Bo’ness Academy along with Graeme and St Mungo’s high schools will have police officers. Braes, Denny, Larbert, Falkirk and Grangemouth all already have one.

Police Scotland will fund six of the police officers while the council will pay for two – at a cost of £84,000, with cash from the children’s services revenue budget and each school chipping in £9300 from their own devolved budgets.

Steve Dougan, Bo’ness Academy head teacher, said: “The majority of the other secondary schools have had campus-based police officers for the last couple of years and they have all been extremely happy having them as part of their school.

“I’m really looking forward to one joining us at Bo’ness Academy and being able to provide some of the health and wellbeing curriculum which is part of our personal and social education programme.”

The move was praised by members who listened to the benefits school-based police officers had brought to Denny High, including a reduction in exclusions at the school and less youth offending in the area.

Head teacher Stephen Miller said: “We have also seen a 30 per cent reduction in youth disorder in the local community.”

PC Iain Taylor, who has been in place at Denny High School since January 2015, said: “I’m thoroughly enjoying my job at Denny High and I can see the benefits.”