BEAT bobbies are hoping a new hub will help them strengthen links with students.
Houghton and Hetton Neighbourhood Policing Team has set up a new base at Hetton School where officers will be on hand to talk to pupils, offer advice and deal with any trouble.
PCSO Ian Wilkinson said: “It’s a drop-in for kids and teachers as well as a place where we can be seen by students.
“We already have good links with the school but we feel something like this helps to break down the barriers between us and students.
“By having a base at the school they can get to know us and see that we are normal.”
The entire beat team will have access to the base and will be visiting at various times.
PCSO Andy Pearson added: “It gives us visibility and means we are also available for the school.
“If they need our help, we are there and it works the other way as well.”
The school has also welcomed the scheme.
Craig Knowles, deputy headteacher, said: “We encourage this sort of working and are happy to work hand in hand with all local services.
“We feel this will be able to give pupils and police greater access to each other, which is a benefit.”
Recent operations that have seen the police work with the school include a truancy sweep and drug dogs visiting the school.
Beat bobbies have also been championing a successful way of getting to know the community they serve with their Cuppa With A Coppa sessions.
The Easington Lane meeting takes place on January 6 at the library on High Street at 4pm.
On January 11, Hetton and Eppleton residents can meet at Barnard Cafe, Hetton Centre, at 10am.
Racecourse Estate residents can meet at Queensway Access Point at 10am and East Rainton residents at Highfield Hotel at 10am.
On January 12, the Moorsley meeting takes place at the Nidderdale Centre at 10am.