Police officers are rousing truanting children from their beds and driving them to school in a bid to cut unauthorised absence.
Cops in Wiltshire are visiting the homes of youngsters who have not turned up at school, and making their parents get them out of bed before escorting them to their lessons in a patrol car.
The first-of-its-kind scheme has been devised in partnership between Wiltshire police and the county council.
Police Chief Inspector Christian Lange has said its first week in operation in the town of Amesbury had already produced positive results.
The Telegraph reports Inspector Lange as saying: "So far, one early morning visit from the police has been enough," adding
It's not good for the parents when their neighbours see us knocking on their doors and taking their kids off to school.
Police officers are given a list of potential truants each morning, and follow up the reason behind the absence - although Inspector Lange says those who are off sick or have a 'good reason' for not being at school are not investigated.
Those who are simply on the skive however, are swiftly dealt with:
"If they are still in bed we get their parents to wake them up, we put them in the car and deliver them straight to school," he said.
An education welfare officer accompanies the truant patrol officers on their beat, and the local council and schools hope the measures will reduce anti-social behaviour in the town - as well as ensuring youngsters are in education.
Inspector Lange said: "The correct place for a child of that age to be is in school. If they are not in school they are more likely to get into trouble. It's not good for anyone to be hanging around, doing nothing all day. Truancy is a recurring problem for a small number of children. They are missing out on their education, and if us waking them up and taking them to school is what is needed, then that is what we will do."
He added it was early days still, but initial results had been good, and the force would continue to take truancy 'very seriously'.
Would you be outraged or pleased if a police officer knocked on your door demanding your child went to school?
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