The schools of England, Wales and Northern Ireland are hotbeds of underage criminal activity according to stats released today, which show that a staggering 30,394 individual crimes that took place in schools were reported to police in 2014.
The number includes primary, secondary and higher education but not universities. The data was compiled via freedom of information requests submitted by the BBC and includes crime stats from 32 police authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Theft, burglary or robbery was the most common crime to take place in school, with incidents involving the lifting of pencils, protractors and dad's previous generation iPhone accounting for 43 per cent of reported in-school crime.
Violent crimes were responsible for 21 per cent -- or 9,319 -- of the reports, with criminal damage and arson on 14 per cent. Of the 25 police forces that provided data on sexual offences some 1,502 were reported.
Sussex Police super Laurence Taylor told the BBC: "If we don't get it right with policing in schools, we miss opportunities to intervene at an early stage to prevent children's behavioural issues becoming more problematic in later life. It is important we break down barriers between children and police, intervene early when problems do arise and support schools in pupils' education." [BBC]