School’s lollipop staff to wear body cameras to tackle anti-social behaviour

The school in Haywards Heath will become the second school in the county to use the cameras. Picture: Steve Robards
The school in Haywards Heath will become the second school in the county to use the cameras. Picture: Steve Robards

Lollipop staff at a school in Haywards Heath will be wearing body cameras to help capture dangerous driving and abusive behaviour outside the school gates, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) has revealed.

After a successful trial at another school last year, Harlands Primary School in Penland Road will become the second school in the county to use the body cameras, worn by their lollipop staff in a bid to stop the anti-social behaviour.

The camera aims to capture audio and video footage of anti-social behaviour outside the school gates. Picture: Steve Robards

The camera aims to capture audio and video footage of anti-social behaviour outside the school gates. Picture: Steve Robards

The cameras are worn across the chest to capture audio and video footage of ‘drive throughs’ or abusive behaviour towards the lollipop staff, as they help children and parents across the road.

The council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, Bob Lanzer, said: “Children and parents feel much safer. It has slowed the traffic and has made it far safer for the area around the school and the abuse towards our lollipop patrols has reduced.”

WSCC ran the pilot scheme last year outside Camelsdale Primary School in Haslemere which proved ‘so successful’ that the school are continuing to use the cameras.

Due to verbal abuse at Harlands Primary School and incidents being reported to the police up to two times a week, governors ‘happily purchased’ a camera when they heard about the scheme, the council said.

“Recently our patrol there was reduced to tears by a very aggressive driver,” Bob said.

He added: “It was this final incident that prompted the governors to offer the funding to purchase a camera for this site.

“All of these issues have been reported to Sussex Police’s Operation Crackdown and followed up.”

He added that the council was now keen for other schools affected by these issues to get in touch.

“We would love other schools to see what Harlands Primary School has done and do the same,” he added.

The cost of a camera is £200 and after a school has purchased, the council arranges all training and signage outside the school.

It is an offence to drive past lollipop staff when they are in the road and if caught the offender will receive a fine and three points on their licence – which is the same for driving through a red light, the council said.

The body camera records every shift a lollipop member of staff works and if footage is captured of an offence, it is passed onto Sussex Police to consider as evidence for prosecution, the council confirmed. If nothing of note happens, the memory card is wiped. The council also puts up signs outside the school warning motorists that they are on camera.

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