Police in schools have impact on pupils perceptions

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My personal rationale to choose this research topic was from experience. One of my best friends was quite severely bullied in school, and when they say that over time it gets better, well in her case it got worse, the bullies threatened her with so many different weapons which they brought into school. Due to the fact she was closed to her GCSE it was seen as unfair to take her out of school, at one point her bullying got so bad that she tried overdose but fortunately she was unsuccessful at it. Over the years now I have seen her struggle with her self confidence and she is quite paranoid when it comes to meeting someone knew or trusting someone.

For me to do this research I will be able to show that crime in school does happen and they are not minor crimes. Not just the young people but even teachers are affected by this. Now with this Police initiative plan placed in schools, I want to explore how effective is this crime prevention in schools.

Academic Rationale

From the academic perspective, there seems to be very little done. Crime prevention is usually subdivided into those that target individual motivation. Even though the youth justice board has funded sixteen prevention programmes, spending over £2.9 million over three years, (Helen Powell, 2004). Straw once stated that "his reasons for reform robustly, his presumption that children aged ten to thirteen do not know the difference between serious wrongdoing and simple naughtiness flies in the face of common sense which is long overdue for reform",(Straw 1998).

I believe that it is important to do a research that will show if the police initiative plan that is part of the safer school partnership. There are already five hundred safer school partnerships oven England and Wales only. According to Bowles "evidence of reduced truancy, reduced authorised absenteeism, and improved exam rates", (Bowles et al, 2005). My work is an undergraduate research so time is very limited. I will complete this research by using both primary and secondary research to complete my project.

Literature Review

Even today there is more talk about crime prevention then of anything else. Crime prevention lies at the heart of criminal justice policy in the modern period. As Reith points out "the prevention of crime has been the principal of object of the police since the establishment on a permanent footing in England in 1829", Reith, 1956).

The real problem lies with the word prevention, which Billis accurately describes as "slippery and certainly difficult to contain", (Billis1981, 368). Freeman "went on to explore the reasons for this and broke the word "prevention" into two constituent parts, namely prediction and intervention", (freeman, 1992). This was so that in order to prevent something to happen then one must first be able to predict where it is likely to happen, and then apply the appropriate interventions at this predicted point.

It was not until the 1980s that crime prevention began to take off. "During the 1980s crime prevention moved closer to centre stage as a response to the problem of rising rates", (Heal, 1987, Laycock, 1989). Crime rates continued to increase at a rate of five to seven percent per year, and it appeared that the traditional policing methods could do nothing to affect this. Crime prevention lies somewhere between the slim skills of policing and the elephantine and somewhat vague processes of social control. "Crime is the outcome of a variety of influencing factors and conditions which are overlaid on each other, this is embodied in the principle of multiple aetiology", (young, 1988, 30). The crime reduction programme in general and the policing initiative in particular have focused mostly on crime problems in the urban areas. Crime problems are suspiciously intensive in cities and towns.

Situational crime prevention is a set of recipes for steering and channelling behaviour in a way that reduces the happening of a criminal event. If we were to unload the idea of crime prevention, we would straight away be familiar that crime itself is by no means an accurate term, covering a host of quantitatively and qualitatively different acts that benefits social contrast, vary across time and space.

The Police do not prevent crime, this is one of the best secrets of modern life. The experts themselves know this, the Police also know this, but the public don't know this. Yet the police act as if that they are communities best protection against the crime and continually argue that if they are given more resources, then they would be able to protect the community against crime. Studies have shown that "the critical ingredient in solving crime is whether the public, the victims and the witnesses provide information that can help identity the suspect", (Chaiken, 1977, ECK, 1982).

The best that can be argued is that the impact the police are having on the crime may be so subtle that it is different to detect. The police promised a real perceptible improvement in public safety as a result of their actions.

Community safety is that it has to involve the need for interventions to be delivered through a partnership approach, drawing together a variety of relevant organisations in the public, voluntary and in the private sectors and also in the community groups. "Community safety is the preferred term for many precisely because it reflects a broader approach to crime prevention and hence its evaluation", (Osborn and Bright 1989, AMA, 1990). In an attempt to give a certain clarity to a broad meaning of crime prevention, Van Dijk proposed a definition of crime prevention as "the total of all policies, measures and techniques, outside the boundaries of the criminal justice system, aiming at the reduction of the various kinds of damage by acts defined as criminal by the state", (Van Dijk, 1990, 205).

The developments since 1995, the crime and disorder act, the crime reduction programme, where the crime targets job force and calls the time on crime increasing the pressure to a wider range of organisations to undertake or to arrange work that would prevent and reduce crime and disorder. Then the section 17 provisions of the crime and disorder 1998 act was the clearest term of the development so far, where the local organisations are necessary to take unintended crime consequences into account in policy and practice. "the stronger the hold of involved forms of thinking, and thus of the ability to distance oneself from traditional attitudes, the stronger the danger inherent in the situation created by people's traditional attitudes towards each other and towards themselves at each other and at the whole situation with a measure of detachment", (Elias, 1987).

All children engage in problem behaviour, and gain knowledge to limit the amount of the behaviour they show as they mature. Almost all the children study to hold back themselves really quickly. "Most young people also engage in problem behaviour that is more easily recognised as delinquent", (Denise, Gottfredson, 2001). Children lacking confidence in themselves and their own ability, for whatever reason, may mean to make any efforts to successes and therefore, withdraw into themselves. "feeling helpless failures, they do not believe that they have the ability to change their circumstances and therefore, a state of learned helplessness develops where there is a drift towards apathy, lethargy, and depression", (Seligman, Patterson, 1986). For some children the lack of family stability could force them to offend.

In 1994 two out of five offenders were under the age of 18, by focusing on young people, social crime prevention mainly targeted groups of possible offenders. According to Home Office research, "young offenders such as the boys no longer seem to be growing out of crime as early in their lives", (Home Office, 1996b). Following the insights of control theory, research evidence suggests "that the school and family play an important part in explaining why young people get involved in crime", (West and Farrington, 1973, Riley and Shaw, 1985, Farrington, 1992, 1994).

Exclusions from school are a problem which has attracted increasing public and political attention over the recent years. "A small number of cases of exclusion have received high levels of attention from the media and this together with the evidence of a significant rise in the number of exclusions in secondary schools and has led some commentators to suggest that the issues attained the statues of moral panic", (Blyth, and Miller, 1993). "While there is likely to be some diversity in the type of care arrangements available for young people, research has shown that adolescents who receive little parental supervision are more likely to offend" (Steinberg, 1986, Home Office, 1995).

Research Methods

The main purpose of this strategy is to indentify if the police presence in schools has had an impact on pupils and teachers and has their perception on crime changed, and if so has the police decreased the numbers in crime in schools. For me to identify and research my topic I have chosen to do both primary and secondary research. For me to do this particular research I will conduct a case study on Archbishop Ramsay School which is situated in the borough of Southwark. Fielding suggests "that having an established contact within the field of research is more often than not the route taken when trying to gain access", (Fielding 2001, P150). Working with London Metropolitan Police in the borough of Southwark, will give me the access to complete my research, and would reduce issues surrounding access.

For me to collect data will depend on the research methods that I have chosen, I will where give permission to record the research methods that I will conduct and where I don't have the permission of the participants to record I will use pen and paper and collect as much data as I can. Once the data relevant data is collected I will then analyse all the data and only use the data that will be related to what I am trying to research. "Sampling is a procedure used in research by which a select subunit of population is studied in order to analyse the entire po2pulation. The logic of sampling enables one to make inferences to a larger population", (kish, 1965). I will choose the random sampling the reason why I chose this method is because of the research methods I have chosen random sampling will allow me to pick people randomly and each element will have a probability of being selected. The downside to this would be that it will require me to do a complete list of the participants, and if it is a large number it could be quite time consuming.

I would request access to the London Metropolitan Police interview police officers and PCSO's that are part of this police initiative plan and carry out semi structured interviews. By conducting semi structured interviews will allow me to ask the same questions, which will allow me to keep the interview flowing. I will also conduct a focus group this involves in bringing together participants in order to understand the measures in attitudes. "Dynamics of focus groups lies in the group process in which participants influence each other, opinions change and new views emerge, The participants learn from each other", (Krueger, 1997, p20). The focus group which will have five to seven people participating, this will involve teachers, young people and organisations like the Metropolitan Police.

My research project is mainly qualitative research, but I will also conduct some quantitative research this will be used when I will compare the crime statistics in the Archbishop Ramsay School with when there was no police initiative plan at the Archbishop Ramsay School to when there is now.

Mixed-method approach will allow me to validate the reliability of my research by comparing and contrasting my research methods. By keeping a note on how I collect the data will help me as a researcher to indentify the validity of the data. The issues that are surrounding the ethic issues, safety issues, and permission where needed and the confidentiality of the participant is respected, this will be addressed throughout my research, and will start with the ethic form which will be handed in December 2010.

Chapter Heading


Define who the Police are

Introduction of London Metropolitan Police (Southwark)

Introduction of Archbishop Ramsay School

Introduction of the aims of the objectives of the research

Criminality in schools: the crimes that occur in schools on day to day basis

The sort of crimes that are committed in schools

The impact it has on the offenders, and on the victims

The affects it has on the teachers

The police intervention: Before and after

Brief introduction of the Police Initiative plan that introduces the safer school partnership

Crime statistics of when there was no police initiative to when there is now

Role of the police: to the Archbishop Ramsay School, to the students and teachers

The impact the police presence has made to the teachers and the students

The impact on how the teachers and students perception crime after the initiative plan was placed in schools.


Outline the chosen methods

Discuss the suitability of the methods and advantages and disadvantages

Discuss any ethic issues

Identify the key points of the research

To address any key findings

To examine if the initiative plan is actually working


A conclusion to sum up all the findings found while conducting this research



To complete the proposal and hand it in on the 4th November

To make an appointment with my project supervisor

Start to read literature in depth


To hand in the ethics form

Research on statistics from London Metropolitan Police

To do further research on Police initiative plan

To write up chapter 1


Finish writing chapter 1

Email in chapter 1 to project supervisor to check

To research further on criminality in Schools

Start chapter 2

to analyse the crime statistics

finish chapter 2


Email in chapter 2 supervisor to check

Start chapter 3

Evaluate the role of the police and the police intevention

Complete chapter 3

Start the methods chapter 4


To address any key points

Address if the Police initiative plan is working


To write the conclusion chapter to sum my research

To complete the conclusion chapter

Proof read and make any amendments


Bind my project and hand it in