The School Crossing Patrol (SCP) service celebrates its Diamond Jubilee in 2013, and Road Safety GB has commissioned a special commemorative badge and certificate to mark the milestone.
The badge and certificate have been provided by Road Safety GB and are being distributed to SCPs across the country to mark the 60th anniversary of the service.
The idea for SCPs came in the late 1940s when two of the newly created road safety officers in the London Boroughs of Dagenham and Barking (Jock Brining and Dorothy Pummell) recognised a growing problem with the safety of child pedestrians given the increasing volume of traffic on roads.
At that time around 90% of children walked to school unaccompanied, and also played out on the streets. Children were advised to ask an adult to see them across busy roads, but Jock Brining had the idea of ‘official’ adults to help children on their way to school at points where traffic was at its worst.
Jock and Dorothy persuaded their councils to agree to the idea and went on to employ ‘active retired gentlemen’ as ‘traffic wardens’, who wore white coats and peaked hats – as worn by park keepers at the time.
The idea proved very popular and soon spread to other London boroughs, and as more wardens were appointed the Met Police took over responsibility for the new service. The SCP service was born when the Government recognised the value of having a service that crossed children at busy and difficult locations.
The service was officially created by the School Crossing Patrol Act in 1953. The first official patrol started work in 1954 and while the uniform and sign have changed to meet modern standards – and patrols can now stop traffic to cross any pedestrian, adult or child – the role is essentially the same today as it was 60 years ago.
Richard Hall, Road Safety GB specialist advisor for the SCP service, said: “While recent budget cuts have affected many SCP services, the need for patrols will remain as long as children walk to school and cross busy roads – here’s to another 60 years of the service!”
For more information about the SCP Diamond Jubilee contact Richard Hall on 01724 297346.
Footnote: Road Safety GB members can download SCP Diamond Jubilee artwork and media information from the members’ area of this website.