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Reminder to Head Teachers to think about Security ahead of closing down for Summer

Hertfordshire Constabulary would like Chair of School Governors , to consider the following points in relation to the security of their school prior to the summer holidays .These are taken from a full school self- assessment form which can be downloaded from the:

Boundaries regularly checked for gaps/damage and to identify any “desire lines” that have developed and consideration given to blocking the route taken?

Fences at schools are primarily to keep pupils in, not trying to keep determined offenders out. With this in mind, any boundaries should encourage easy surveillance of the site. This can be achieved in some cases by keeping trees/hedges short and having weld mesh railings rather than wooden fences.

  • Lettings? - Ensure that only rooms required are available and that the rest of the school is secured. If possible have the alarm zoned so that the rest can be active, but allowing free use of the relevant rooms.
  • Are neighbours of the school your eyes and ears? - Consider sending school newsletters to them, thanking them for their assistance in the past and asking them to report any suspicious activity at the school to the police.
  • Is all property security marked ? - All property should be marked by one of the proprietary methods, using a UV pen (postcode or school name) or other products. Consider boldly marking property with bright coloured permanent paint, with either the school’s postcode or crest which will reduce the chances a burglar will steal it , serial numbers taken and recorded on www.immobilise.com (a free service and used by all police forces in the country)?
  • Laptops kept in a secured cupboard/store in an alarmed area (this includes those stored on a trolley)? - Consider a ground or wall anchor for trolleys.
  • Is the alarm serviced regularly? - Including a visual check of all sensors to make sure they haven’t been covered, that they still cover the main equipment/target in the room and haven’t been obscured by displays, furniture, etc.
  • Is there a policy for any staff acting as key holders for alarm activations so that they confirm it is the monitoring company calling them at unsocial hours and that another person knows they are attending the site in case of any problems they encounter?
  • CCTV Advice - Is it regularly maintained?
  • Are recording equipment and recorded materials stored in a locked cabinet?
  • Are downloads (required by police for identification) fit for purpose?
  • Are the time and date settings regularly checked to ensure they are correct?
  • Are appropriate signs displayed to warn offenders that they are being recorded?

For further advice or for a comprehensive personal survey of your school, please contact the Crime Prevention Officers , Ian Dowse and Sophie Hall at Hertfordshire Constabulary on the non-emergency number: 101.

Police in Hertfordshire are working hard to protect schools from crime. As part of this effort the constabulary have created some ‘self assessment' surveys that work in the same way as a police expert's checklist - helping you to help yourself.

Crime Prevention Letter from Hertfordshire Constabulary
Secure your School this Summer Flyer

Please click on the link below to download a schools’ security self assessment form. You can print off a copy and work through the sections as you walk around your school buildings.

You may be surprised to know how safe your school is, or there may be areas for improvement that could make it even safer.

When you have done the survey, you can download a certificate and, if you need further advice on crime prevention, you can speak to a Crime Reduction Officer (contact details on the self assessment form).

Please let us know if you think the self assessment is a good idea and tell us if you are going to use it. Please email with ‘schools’ self assessment' as the subject to corp.comm@herts.pnn.police.uk

Schools Arson Audit

Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking schools to book an arson audit to safeguard their premises from arson attacks.

The Service attends around 155 calls to fires in or on school premises each year, all of which are started deliberately.

In an attempt to reduce these attacks, the Service offers all schools across the county a free Arson Audit as part of its ‘School Safe’ scheme.

During the audit a fire officer will walk round the grounds with a school representative and identify any arson risks, recommending actions the school can take to reduce them.

Schools are at a high risk especially during school holidays and, although there hasn’t been a total loss for many years, it could happen at any time. Such a loss would be felt for years to come and much of what could be lost may never be replaced. Evidence suggests that children of school age start the majority of these fires and that the fires are opportunistic rather than premeditated. A refuse container full to overflowing is a typical target, as is discarded packaging left in exposed areas. It is vitally important that schools recognise they may be a target for arsonists, particularly in the school holidays, and take steps to reduce the risk.

Advice to school includes:

- Keep sites clean, tidy and free from combustible material

- Avoid leaving rubbish out overnight

- Keep bin stores locked

- Keep refuse containers at least 8 metres away from buildings

- Ensure premises are secured, including out buildings and stores.

If you would like assistance to carry out an arson audit please contact your local fire station to arrange a time and date to visit your school to assist with the audit.