Police - school partnerships

This page describes the overarching strategy and models used when Police partner with schools, and the roles of 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.

Serving School Communities

This five-page document describes the mission, values, principles, outcomes and tactics that Police apply when partnering with school communities.

Ways that schools and Police partner together

Police and schools share similar goals for students. We all want students to be safe and feel safe so they can be happy and fulfil their potential. New Zealand Police partners with schools in:

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

Summary of Police partnerships with schools

This five-page document summarises:

- the Police-schools operating model

- the Police-schools engagement model

- the Police-schools engagement cycle

- school-wide interventions

- the School Portal.

It comes as either a handout or a slide-show for presenting about Police-school partnerships to school staff meetings, Boards of Trustees, parents, community groups and so on.

Police-school operating model

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The Police-school operating model describes the range of ways that Police provide services with schools. These ways include:

  • influencing and supporting a few schools to operate school-wide interventions to address specific crime and/or crash problems
  • training and monitoring school traffic safety teams that operate in many schools
  • supporting the many schools that use Police-endorsed education programmes (for example Keeping Ourselves Safe, Kia Kaha, Choice, Road Safe)
  • building relationships and sharing information with all schools.

Police-schools operating model

This one-page document summarises the Police-schools operating model.

Police-school engagement model

The Police-school engagement model describes a structure so that all schools will have a police officer dedicated to be the Lead Police Contact to liaise with a Lead School Contact.

Liaison will involve:

  • agreement to work together to prevent crime and road trauma
  • sharing of information to enhance safety in the school community
  • agreement on protocols to respond to serious offending around the school community.  

Police-school engagement model

This one-page document summarises the Police-school engagement model.

Police-school engagement cycle

The Police-school engagement cycle outlines the specific planning and processes to put the partnership into practice.  This cycle is described in detail on the Partnerships in Practice page.

Police officers involved with schools

School Community Officers are experienced uniformed police officers who specialise in supporting schools and their communities. They have the attributes and skills to:

  • relate positively to children and young persons
  • work with school managers and governors to plan prevention activities, such as education programmes, school traffic safety teams and school-wide interventions.

Contact your School Community Officer through your nearest Police station.

Lead Police Contacts could be any sworn police officer who is specifically assigned to that school. They have the attributes and skills to:

  • be a conduit between the school and local Police
  • maintain a Partnership agreement (DOCX, 168KB) between the school and Police
  • maintain an annually updated School Profile (DOCX, 85KB)
  • connect schools with a range of relevant community organisations. 

Youth Aid Officers assist schools with individual young people under 17 who offend, are at risk of offending, or may be in need of care and protection.

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, 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).