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Police pick up 20 truant kids

PUBLISHED: 15:39 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 25 August 2010

POLICE in one borough picked up 20 children playing truant in just five hours.

POLICE in one borough picked up 20 children playing truant in just five hours. Greenwich police together with school representatives drove in unmarked police cars around Middle Park and Avery Hill where they found the skiving secondary school children and took them back to their schools on November 12.

This comes after figures released by the government last month showed that Greenwich had one of the highest rates of primary truancy in the country.

The borough's primary schools saw 57,475 half days missed through unauthorised absence between autumn 2007 and Spring this year - 1.5 per cent of the total days.

The national average for days lost through unexplained absence was almost a third of that in Greenwich.

Greenwich councillor Jackie Smith said: "It is important that all children attend school and that their parents take responsibility for ensuring they do so.

"Where necessary, the council will use its formal powers to enforce attendance up to and including the prosecution and fining of parents where it is deemed appropriate to do so.

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