Education Minister Grace Grace is urging community members to keep a close watch on schools over the Christmas break to help protect them from would-be thieves, vandals and arsonists.
“Our schools are one of the most precious community assets and we all have a role to play in keeping them safe,” Ms Grace said.
“We are calling on vigilant community members to report any suspicious activity they may see or hear at our schools over the holidays.
“Of course, we have a range of targeted measures in place to protect our schools over the holidays, including monitored intruder detection, CCTV and surveillance by police, Protective Services and private security firms.
“School security patrols will be a regular sight in many areas throughout the state during the summer break.”
The School Watch Program is a partnership between the Department of Education and Protective Services Group, Queensland Police Service.
Minister Grace said that there were 91 reported instances of vandalism and 67 break and enters at schools during the 2020/21 Christmas holidays, but these numbers could have been much higher if not for the 167 calls made to the School Watch number to report suspicious activity during this period.
“Attentive residents and community members provide an invaluable boost to our existing security measures,” Ms Grace said.
“School buildings are a significant community investment and we do not want them vandalised, resulting in further investment to rectify needless damage.
“More importantly, we want our communities to remain safe and secure for people living in close proximity to schools and for staff and students who use these facilities during the school year.”
Since the School Watch Program launched in 2014, the program has been a vital part in keeping Queensland school communities safe and free from harm, to ensure all students can come back to safe environments for the 2022 school year.
Queensland students return to state schools on Monday 24 January 2022.