Police - school partnerships

This page describes why and how schools partner with Police, and the roles of various police officers involved with schools. 

For specific planning and processes, go to the Partnerships in Practice page.

Why schools partner with Police?

Police and schools share many goals related to safe environments, safe children and young people, safety education and ensuring that New Zealanders can live in a safe country. We all want students to be safe and feel safe so they can be happy and fulfil their potential.

Through support from Police, schools may:

  • increase student learning
  • decrease behavioural issues
  • improve relationships with family/whānau
  • increase connections with social services in the community
  • decrease stand downs and suspensions.

Ways that schools and Police partner together

New Zealand Police partners with schools in:

  • prevention activities to help schools prevent the harm caused by crime and crashes that will affect students’ achievement.
  • response services to support the school's usual disciplinary and behaviour management practices when a serious offence is identified.

Police officers involved with schools

School Community Officers are Police officers who work with schools to prevent crime and victimisation, and take every opportunity to prevent harm in the school community, by supporting schools with developing and implementing safety education and shared interventions.

School Community Officers:

  • are constabulary members with specialist training
  • are subject matter experts who work schools
  • are trained problem-solvers
  • have the knowledge and skills to assist with relevant safety education content.

Contact your School Community Officer through your nearest Police station.

Lead Police Contacts build the relationship with their allocated school’s management, and share information. This differs from the School Community Officer’s separate role of supporting schools with developing and implementing safety education and shared interventions.

However, the Lead Police Contact role may be undertaken by a School Community Officer, or alternatively by a Community Constable, Neighbourhood Policing Team member, Rural Constable, Iwi Liaison Officer or any other appropriate Police employee.

Lead Police Contacts have the knowledge and skills to:

  • build an effective and sustainable partnership between Police and their assigned school(s), in particular with the school’s appointed Lead School Contact (LSC)
  • gather and share crime, victimisation and harm information that pertains to that school community, within privacy guidelines
  • act as the conduit between the school and other Police staff
  • work with relevant community partners.

Youth Aid Officers work with schools to prevent reoffending and revictimisation of children and young people, under the provisions of the Children, Young Persons, and their Families Act 1989. They facilitate restorative justice as described in the Police-School Partnership Model. The education sector is a key partner for Youth Services.

Youth Aid Officers:

  • are subject matter experts with specialist training who also work with schools
  • have the knowledge and skills of the CYF Act to support young people and their family/whanāu.

Community Constables deal with local issues that may affect members of the school community.

Neighbourhood Policing Teams work to solve issues in a geographically defined and prioritised community.

Iwi Liaison Officers provide an interface between Police and Māori communities.

Other Police sections may also become involved with schools, such as:

  • Public Safety Team (uniformed police who attend incidents and undertake prevention activities)
  • Criminal Investigations Branch (detectives who investigate criminal activities)
  • Road Policing (uniformed police who enforce the traffic laws and promote good driving practices).