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NCJ Number
School Safety Dated: (Winter 1993) Pages: 15-17
S A Grant
Date Published
3 pages
A balance between law enforcement, crime prevention education, and informal positive contacts helps police officers who serve as school liaison officers in Canada to develop effective relationships with students and achieve crime reporting by victims.
The program in Richmond, British Columbia uses victim disclosures as the measure of changes in students' behavior and responses to the police. The program groups disclosures into four categories, based on the nature of the disclosure, the vulnerability of the victim, and the level of trust and program support required to make the disclosure. First-level disclosures are routine requests for service or complaints regarding minor crimes. Second-level disclosures involve reporting of property crimes with a known suspect, indicating trust and support of the program. Third-level disclosures involve reporting of personal victimization by assault, bullying, and harassment by a known suspect. Fourth-level disclosures involve the reporting of sexual assault, domestic violence, or incest and indicate very strong trust and support. Successfully obtaining victim disclosure results from victim perceptions of the police officer's approachability and effectiveness. A balanced relationship between enforcement, education, and informal contacts provides the most successful context for victim disclosures. The Richmond program has greatly increased victim disclosures and achieved a 74-percent clearance rate for violent or personal victimization and a 54-percent clearance rate for property offenses. The police roles vary with students' age and grade levels.