Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Universal Concern

It seems like American schools aren't the only ones with security issues. It may surprise some that there are problems with criminal activity in the schools of Australia's Queensland state: (emphasis added)
UNDERCOVER security guards are taking secret photographs of school intruders as part of a massive increase in security.

The use of hidden guards and secret cameras are among measures designed to combat arson, theft and vandalism that cost the state $11.5 million last year.

Staff and parents said criminal attacks were devastating.

"It makes you feel uncomfortable, it makes you feel unsafe, it makes you feel threatened," Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Associations president Wanda Lambert said.

State Education Minister Anna Bligh said schools were among Queensland's most valuable assets and deserved protection.

"Security is crucial because it reinforces the message that wanton destruction of school property will not be tolerated," she said.

"The message to vandals is that we are watching you. Since last year, there has been a 70 per cent increase in the number of schools that receive regular, around-the-clock security patrols."
This one state, Queensland, has sustained over $9 million in losses due to arson. Unions representing employees are supportive of all the security measures.
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