REPORTS of violence, sexual offences and burglaries in schools have risen as hundreds more crimes were reported.

The number of incidents at schools, colleges and universities across Sussex rose by 16 per cent to 1,847 between April 2016 and March 2017, figures show. Reports of violence, burglary and sexual offences have increased the most, according to a report due to be presented to councillors on Friday.

There were 278 more crimes reported at schools than the year before, with a total of 1,565.

There were 25 more incidents at universities but 49 fewer crimes reported at colleges during this time, the papers produced by chief executive of the office of police and crime commissioner Mark Streater said.

This is an average of two crimes per each of the 656 schools in the county and an increase of 22 per cent per school.

It comes as there was a 48 per cent drop in the number of children recorded as offenders as police take fewer children to court in a bid to seek alternative punishments outside the criminal justice system.

Data comparing the number of crimes at primary and secondary schools is not available but the “vast majority of crimes were recorded in secondary schools”, the report said.

In March, The Argus reported police were called to Patcham High School twice in less than 24 hours after a student was beaten up and another teenager, who had been excluded, turned up on the premises with what was believed to be a knife.

Mrs Bourne will discuss the figures with members of the police and crime panel as part of her pledge to cut down on crime in schools.

The increase is, in part, down to police being better at accurately recording categories of crime, with the incidents of violence being mainly harassment over social media rather than physical altercations, the documents said.

The rise in sexual offences – particularly children producing sexual images – is because professionals are more aware of the problems and sexting victims are more confident in speaking out, Mr Streater said.

This follows Sussex Police’s Snapchat, Instagram and Youtube campaigns on the dangers of nude selfies in its child sexual exploitation crackdown.

But schools failing to deal with incidents under their own disciplinary policies and cuts to resources were also contributing factors, Mr Streater said.

Headteachers will now be asked to keep a record of their attempts to quell criminal behaviour and have been told to only contact the police on 101, online or by email for anything that is not an emergency.

Mr Streater said changes in the job roles of 20 neighbourhood school officers – due to come in to force on November 6 – will stop incidents escalating so officers do not need to get involved.

They will now be called youth prevention officers and have to spend a quarter of their time in school as well as work outside lesson time between 8am and 11pm so they can speak more with youngsters.

They are tasked with stamping out child exploitation and criminality among youngsters.

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ALL Year 8 students in Brighton and Hove are being shown a play about the risks of child sexual exploitation.

The police and crime commissioner awarded £4,790 of funding so Chelsea’s Choice could be performed to all students in that year group across the city.

It is expected it will reach about 4,000 children.

The play is based on a true story in which Chelsea falls out with her friends and family and meets an older man called Gary who has a car, flat. He treats her like an adult but grooms her.

The production company aims the storyat Year 9 students but said it is adaptable for children as young as Year 7.

It hopes to teach children about using the internet safely, healthy relationships and dangerous situations.