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Pupils caught in truancy clampdown

MORE than 50 youngsters who should have been in school in Folkestone were stopped by police officers in the street during a truancy clampdown in the district.

The two-day Operation Runaway at the end of May was organised by Kent County Council's education welfare officers and Kent police who took the youngster's details and also questioned any parents out with them.

Each child will receive a letter warning them they must attend school and each mother and father will also be reminded of the consequences of not ensuring this happens which at best is a fine, at worst a prison sentence.

Youth crime reduction officer WPC Fran Fryer-Kelsey said: "This is the second operation of its type this year. Our aim is to deter youngsters from missing out on their education and to make sure parents know they have a legal responsibility to make sure their children are at school.

"Children who play truant can end up on the slippery slope, mixing with other truants and being tempted into committing crime. They may also find themselves permanently excluded from school which leads to boredom and the potential to get into more trouble. Truancy will not be tolerated."

Another 68 children were spoken to by officers in the Dover district during the two days. More operations are planned.

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