KIDS in Ellesmere Port and Neston are to be targeted by truancy patrols.
'Sagging' school can often be the first step to anti-social behaviour and crime.
So police are teaming up with the county council to home in on youngsters hanging around the streets during the day with no good reason.
The teams of at least two - a welfare officer accompanied by one or more PCs - will stop any young person of school age, with or without an adult, and ask why they are absent from school.
Those who do not provide a satisfactory reason for absence will be, where practical, returned to school.
Insp Mark Watson, of the Western Area Partnership Development Unit, said: 'It's important we carry on using the patrols to maintain a presence in the community and return young people to education. This has the added bonus of reducing the problems that are often associated with truancy.'
He added: 'Patrols work in their own dedicated area, both on foot and on mobile patrol, and a back-up unit is available to transport young people back to their school or place of safety.
'Results from patrols in Congleton between November 2003 and March 2004 indicate a reduction of 80% in persistent truancy.'
Education Minister Ivan Lewis has said: 'What starts as bunking off the occasional lesson can spiral to missing out on vital stages in a child's education. This feeds into a cycle of underachievement and disaffection which can lead to crime, drugs and alcohol misuse.'