VANDALISM and antisocial behaviour by young people are a blight on modern life, even if only a minority of youngsters cause such problems. So it makes sense to show primary school children the environmental and social harm caused by graffiti, vandalism and other activities against society.

Haxby school children became police officers for the day and learned much about the damage caused by loutishness. They joined the police on what is now called “an environmental visual audit” – something that, in simpler times, might have been summed up as “a quick look round”.

The main lesson these sharp-eyed youngsters picked up is that they should value their community and not do anything to harm it. If they enter adult life with this message still firmly in their minds, then this far-sighted scheme will have easily proved its worth.