Police attend Bedford schools 177 times over the last year

Generic classroom shot NNL-170123-131023005
Generic classroom shot NNL-170123-131023005

Police attended almost 200 reported incidents at schools across Bedford Borough last year - including eight reported incidents of sexual offences, 20 of violent incidents, and six of suspicious packages.

The data, uncovered by the Times & Citizen as part of a Freedom Of Information request to Bedfordshire Police, covers the 12 months from June 18, 2018.

The figures also include visits such as for 28 false alarms, one hoax/abandoned call, and 12 filed under ‘police-generated activity’ - understood to include visits to assembly and similar activities.

Bedford Academy had the most recorded incidents attended, with 19. This included two reported sexual offences, five reported incidents of violence against the person, and three concerns for safety/security, and one ‘crime-related incident’.

Second was Sharnbrook Upper School, with 13 attendances. This included three recorded incidents of sexual offences, two of violence against the person, and one road-related offence.

Biddenham International School had the third-highest number of recorded incidents attended. These included one sexual offence, one suspicious package, and one of violence against the person.

Although the figures reflect how many incidents were attended at the school, it does not mean that the incidents occurred at the school.

Additionally there are no figures available for the outcome of any allegations or reported incidents.

Bedford Academy declined to comment on the figures.

David Bailey, headteacher at Biddenham International School, said that the figures were a reflection of schools prioritising young people’s protection and safeguarding.

He said: “All Bedford Borough schools work closely with all agencies, including the police and social care, to ensure our young people are safe and safeguarded, and it is important that any decontextualised figures are viewed in this way.

“For me these statistics represent a positive multi-agency response by schools ensuring that young people in our care are all appropriately looked after.”

A spokesman for Sharnbrook Academy Federation, which includes Sharnbrook Upper School, said: The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is our number one priority and if we ever have cause for concern and feel the need to contact the police, we do.

“We believe that that is the right approach, even if at times it transpires we have been over-cautious. A police presence is always reassuring and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for always being on hand and providing such an excellent and supportive service.”