Police are stepping up patrols outside Plymouth primary schools to drive home the message to parents about safe parking on the school run.

The ‘School Safe’ operation will see officers and PCS0s from Plymouth West conducting high-visibility patrols outside five primary schools in the mornings and afternoons until the end of January.

The aim is to educate parents about safe and legal parking in and around schools, and follows concerns raised by local residents about children’s safety.

PC Debbie Benwell said: “We are constantly being told by residents in the area of their concerns at the manner of parking around the school. Most are concerned that a child will be hurt or in the worst case scenario receive a fatal injury.

“The problem tends to get worse during the winter months when the weather is bad and the light is low. Parents use their vehicles more frequently and attempt to park as close to the school gates as possible.”

The team will visit each school at least twice a week for the next few weeks and enforcement measures will be used in the future if the problems persist.

The schools involved are Mayflower Primary School, Montpelier Primary School, Pennycross Primary School, Weston Mill Primary School and Hyde Park Primary School.

“We have contacted each school to make them aware of the operation and encouraged them to inform parents of the actions we are taking,” added PC Benwell.

“This operation will also give us a good opportunity to interact with the children, parents and schools.”