Panel & school team up in anti-crime projects

Levenmouth Academy - link-up between new-look Community Safety Panel and new school.
Levenmouth Academy - link-up between new-look Community Safety Panel and new school.
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Anti-crime advocates from Levenmouth hope to engage in a range of new measures with the area’s embattled new secondary school.

Levenmouth Community Safety Panel is continuing with its regular remit, which includes promoting methods of reducing crime, and stimulating public and professional interest in doing so, often in association with other groups.

Chairman Bill Campbell also said it was glad to do anything it could to assist at Methilhaven Road.

The Panel had strong historic links with Kirkland and Buckhaven High Schools, and was keen to continue engaging with the new school as much as possible.

Mr Campbell is due tomeet today (Wednesday) with Levenmouth’s head teacher Ronnie Ross to discuss the potential projects, while the school has its official opening ceremony this Friday.

Levenmouth Academy has been blighted by incidents of violence and vandalism since it opened last August, with patterns of behaviour, management practices, staff shortages and other factors coming into focus.

However, Panel members hope to play a role in encouraging young people to think about crime and its effects in general, and maybe persuade them to get involved in activities to help their community.

Hoped-for initiatives include a visit by an expert, who has done work on television and with the Metropolitan Police, to advise youngsters about the dangers of mobile phone scams.

It’s also intended to set up a junior community safety panel within the school, which would be largely independent of Police Scotland – one of the Levenmouth Panel’s main partners – but still having police back-up where necessary.

This would hopefully encourage young people to think about anti-crime campaigns and highlight any safety issues they were aware of at school, said Mr Campbell.

The Panel also hoped to put up a prize for a group or an individual involved in any activities which benefited the community.

“We want to anything we can to help them up there,” said Mr Campbell. “But I have a funny feeling that, occasionally, they get the wrong headlines in the press,” he added, referring to a daily newspaper’s heading over a recent fire incident story.

The Panel has also dropped plans to finance the making of a short film entitled Choices For Life, in which pupils from both former secondary schools were due to explore the dangers posed by certain lifestyle choices, such as solvents, drugs and alcohol.

The school’s ‘campus cop’, PC Richard Cartwright, was getting involved instead in the setting up of a Police Scotland youth volunteer group linked to the school.

Meanwhile, the official opening takes place on March 10 and features Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney MSP, and leader of Fife Council, David Ross. The ceremony will also be attended by Mayor of Bruges and vice-president of Bordeaux Metropole, Madame Brigitte Terrazza, and Fife Provost Jim Leishman.