Staff at Barking and Dagenham schools trained to reduce risk of knife crime

The event was held to highlight the dangers of gun and knife crime. Picture: Katie Collins/PA Wire/P

School staff have been trained to reduce the risk of pupils bringing in knives and other dangerous items. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Staff at Barking and Dagenham schools have received training to tackle knife crime.

Ten schools took part in a course by Excel Training Solutions to reduce the risk of knives and other prohibited items through search and confiscation.

The training includes watching demonstrations and practising search techniques to give staff the ability to perform searches for unauthorised items when reasonable.

Cllr Evelyn Carpenter, the cabinet member for educational attainment and school improvement, said: "This is welcome training for our school staff and will play an essential part in making sure our school communities remain safe places for everyone.

"Youth violence is sadly a problem across London, but we're doing all we can to tackle the issue.”

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The training complements a multi-disciplinary partnership - Step up, Stay Safe - which involves the council working with community organisations, the youth-offending service and stakeholders to support the wellbeing of children, young people and adults.

Excel Training Solutions co-founder Carl Holness said: "I am delighted that we're able to give staff the skills to create a safe environment for themselves and young people.

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"The courses have been specifically created following feedback from professionals in the education sector who highlighted the need for risk mitigation training."

A recent Ofsted report dedicated to safeguarding children and young people in education from knife crime carried out a research project in schools, colleges and pupil referral units across London.

The report recognised the responsibilities of schools and acknowledged the need for collaboration between everyone in the community.

The training comes as shops in the borough sign up to the Responsible Retailer Scheme, which aims to reduce and prevent knife-related crime.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “We’re determined to put a stop to knife crime in Barking and Dagenham, so I am really pleased that this training has been brought in for our teachers.

“Along with the work we have been doing with the Lost Hours campaign and responsible retailer scheme for shops selling knives, this is a timely addition.”

This comes as London faces its worst year for the killing of young people in more than a decade and the Met Police pilots powers which could see children as young as 12 subject to curfews.

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