Crossing Patrol’s camera boost for children’s safety

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Staff hope a School Crossing Patrol’s new body camera will help deter inconsiderate driving and encourage even more parents to walk their children to school.

River Beach Primary in Littlehampton is the seventh school in the county to trial body cameras to try to prevent abusive behaviour by road users and improve safety for pupils and their families.

Michelle Padwick has been the school’s Crossing Patrol for nearly four years and said all the parents she had spoken to had been supportive of the camera scheme.

“I think it will definitely deter people from being inconsiderate, especially when they see the camera signs as they approach the crossing.

“I was surprised how easy it was to use the camera. The children were excited about it, too.”

Teacher Sue Bingham, who coordinates the school’s Travel Plan, said: “I think the trial scheme has made people even more aware Michelle is doing a job to keep the children safe.

“I think it will encourage more parents to walk their children to school.”

West Sussex County Council’s School Crossing Patrol team, working in conjunction with Sussex Police, encourages schools to use body cameras to deter ‘drive throughs’ and abusive behaviour outside school gates.

The cameras are worn across the chest to capture audio and video of motorists driving dangerously, or being abusive towards patrols as they help children and parents across the road.

If footage is captured of an offence, it is passed to Sussex Police to consider as evidence for possible prosecution.

Anyone interested in arranging a camera for a School Crossing Patrol outside their school can contact Louise Bishop on 033022 26744 or email louise.bishop@westsussex.gov.uk

Key facts:
• It is an offence to drive past a School Crossing Patrol when they are in the road
• If caught, the offender will receive a fine and three points on their licence – the same they would receive for driving through a red light
• The camera records every shift a School Crossing Patrol works
• If nothing of note happens, the memory card is wiped
• West Sussex County Council puts up temporary signs outside the school warning offending motorists they are on camera.

Picture caption: River Beach Primary in Littlehampton is the seventh school in the county to trial body cameras. School Crossing Patrol Michelle Padwick is pictured here wearing the camera while guiding children and parents across the road

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