Pupils at Thorpe St Andrew school help police to warn parents about dangerous parking

Parents parking dangerously outside a Thorpe St Andrew school were given a stern warning – but by pupils instead of police as part of an innovative bid to make the area safer for children.

Officers from the Thorpe St Andrew Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) are currently cracking down on dangerous parking outside schools in the area which is a current priority.

Members of the team were at St Williams Primary School yesterday afternoon from 2.30pm to try and encourage people not to park dangerously, but it was pupils, dressed in high visibility jackets, and not officers, who were dishing out the warnings.

PC Samantha Stolworthy from the Thorpe St Andrew SNT said it was an approach which had a positive effect on parents. She said: 'They are quite happy to speak to children and I think sometimes it has greater impact if you've got children pointing out to these motorists where they should or should not be parking.'

PC Stolworthy said they hoped to undertake similar events at other schools in the area to try and get across the message about the dangers of irresponsible parking, particularly at busy times.

James Roberts, a teacher at St Williams Primary, said he hoped parents would heed the warning being issued by the children about not parking in dangerous areas.

He said: 'I think having the children asking them as opposed to adults or the police, it's a lot more friendly.

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'Who can say no to these children?'

Jane Betts, 46, from Heartsease, has grandchildren at the school and was one of the parents who did not mind being spoken to by the children. She said: 'I didn't mind at all. We want the kids to be safe so it's a really good idea. It was really interesting to find out rules about single yellow lines.'

To contact your SNT call 101.

Have you got a crime story? Call Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk