CALUM McDougall's role as school engagement officer at Beath High was hailed a huge success by councillors.

PC McDougall took on the role at the secondary school in January 2019 in a first for the area after being part of the local Community Police Team and Wednesday's Cowdenbeath Area Committee was also told that a second officer, PC Louise Wallace, had joined Calum in the School Engagement team, until the end of the year.

Community Inspector Gavin Cameron told the committee: "This is a fully funded post with the aim of promoting positive behaviour and community learning in the school and local community by providing support for pupils, parents and carers.

"Being co-located with teaching staff within the school has improved joint working practices and led to a more collaborative and focussed early intervention strategy being implemented.

"PC McDougall deals with the majority of reported incidents requiring police attention helping to reduce the demand on local officers."

During his first year in post he had been actively involved in promoting crime awareness amongst pupils and had worked with S1 pupils on an anti bullying campaign; with S2 pupils on anti-social behaviour and also suicide and missing persons awareness; with the focus for S3 being drug input and liaising with the Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre to arrange PSE inputs.

He has led the One Punch and No Knives maxim with classes S1 to S4.

With S5 he has supported guidance with the Road Safety presentation held at Glenrothes and along with S5 and S6 used the Safe Choices mechanism to look at drugs misuse.

PC McDougall has also undertaken focussed work with young offenders and their families to identify appropriate means of addressing offending behaviour and provided support for the victims of youth crime.

The school's feedback in relation to the PC's secondment was tabled to the committee: "Overall he has had a massive impact on the Personal and Social Education programme and quality of information our pupils are receiving to positively inform their decision making.

"His knowledge of the law is invaluable within the PSE classes. One Punch and No Knives was delivered to all year age groups and the number of fights occurring have reduced significantly."

Recorded crime within the school has also dropped, all within the backdrop of an additional year group from Woodmill High in Dunfermline, joining in at Beath after the fire at that school.

Councillor Alex Campbell said he had been working with PC McDougall on a particular issue on pupils going across Foulford Road to a shop and posing road safety issues and his and Louise Wallace's input had been very valuable.

He added: "There is no doubt that having the School Engagement Officers make a very positive impact on the pupils at Beath."

Councillor Alistair Bain commented: "It really is good news to learn about PC Wallace joining Calum for the rest of the year, I see it as a situation."

Councillor Darren Watt added: "The aspect of working with the pupils about missing persons' awareness is good, for each day there are 12 people being reported missing in Fife. Early intervention can really help."