Police Scotland’s PC Jamie Oliver, a Schools Based Officer in Aberdeen, speaks of how he helps keeps pupils safe, as well as providing a positive role model.
While the summer holiday break is a time for the young people and their teachers to recharge after the school term, as a School Based Police Officer, you may find it surprising to hear that I have no such respite.
During the holidays, when the pupils were out enjoying the sun with their friends I was kept busy.
I’ve been involved in local charity wellbeing hubs in the area, meeting with partner agencies to discuss how we can better provide for and help young people. And I’ve also been carrying out patrols to communicate with young people who may be at risk of antisocial behaviour.
I have also been heavily involved in ongoing operations including a domestic abuse operation, where a number of high risk domestic offenders were brought into custody, as well as continuing operations in order to curtail the distribution of illegal drugs in the community by helping with the execution of drugs search warrants.
A positive role model for pupils
Since starting the role at St Machar Academy in November 2020 I have given inputs about my role and the role of police in general as well as inputs on how pupils can keep themselves safe at school, in the community and online.
The majority of my time however, is spent talking with pupils outside of the classrooms, by way of general conversations, advice or guidance.
Mainly my presence at school is to try and be a positive role model for pupils, some of which might not otherwise have a positive influence in their life and also project a positive image of police to young people who may have been brought up with a negative attitude towards us.
I have recently been involved with the induction of the new S1 pupils who transitioned to the academy and I will continue to support them on their new journey.
Ensuring the child’s safety is paramount
This past year it has not been easy for a lot of people, and during the lockdowns I worked alongside the school making sure that the pupils have a safe and positive learning environment at home, and that they and their parents or guardians have everything they require for home schooling.
An important part of my role is when incidents have been brought to my attention where pupils report abuse at home or in the community.
In each case I liaise with partner agencies and reassure the children. Dealing with these incidents quickly, ensuring that the child’s safety is paramount.
I would encourage children, young people and adults with any concerns about themselves or others to reach out.
There is a multitude of ways support can be accessed. Speaking to the police does not always have to involve criminal procedures.
We work closely with several partners across our division to support and signpost and will do our best to help.