Campus police officer Michael Goldie reckons he has learned plenty after going ‘back to school’ for the past four years.

The 47-year-old has become a well-known face in Barrhead classrooms, offering support to pupils, parents and teachers.

Constable Goldie’s stint as the ‘go to’ officer for St Luke’s High and its feeder primary schools will come to an end this summer as he

returns to regular beat duties.

However, he will leave with a real sense of satisfaction at a job well done.

Michael told the Barrhead News: “The main part of my job is to just be a support to everyone as best I can. It’s more about advising and preventing than anything else.

“Being in a school and working with children, you have to be very sensitive about how you approach subjects. That could mean going to speak to a group of kids about three different issues and, really, you’re just trying to get through to one child with a problem.

“Road safety is always going to be a big thing too. You have to speak to the primary aged children who may be crossing roads themselves for the first time. At the other end, you also have the older pupils who are learning to drive. Even the parents can need looking after because of their parking at the school gates.

“It could also be as simple as a problem at home, which kids may feel like they can’t bring up with their parents. This is especially true now with the internet where, for the most part, children are just much better at using computers than people my age.

“This often takes up most of my time. Today’s parents just didn’t have to deal with group chats, live streaming or any other part of

social media when they were growing up.”

Having witnessed many children grow up significantly in his time in the classrooms and corridors, Michael admits he will be sad to leave his current post.

“I was a little apprehensive at first,” he said. “The last time I had been at school was when I left at the age of 16 – and I had no ambition to return. Now I can see how important the relationship is between officers and young people, as that can inform their view of the police for a lifetime. You are breaking down barriers.

“I like to think the children know me well enough now that they can talk to me about their problems. Of course, you get kids who have a laugh and a joke with you, but these are the same ones who will be right at your door if they need to talk – and that is worth any flack you might get.”

Although he spends less time hunting for criminals than the average police officer, the work done by Michael and other campus cops across the country plays an important role in crime prevention and raising awareness of

local issues.

For those in Barrhead, much of this focus can be on problems that plague adolescents, such as

dangers on the internet, road safety and substance abuse.

Michael said: “I have been a police officer for 14 years and you still see some people shy away from you in the street, but there is a lot more trust towards us than there has been in the past, especially among younger people.”