IT’S important to highlight the bravery of the students whose evidence helped convict two teens of conspiring to attack on a school in Northallerton. But we should also be asking how those children were let down so badly initially?

Why weren’t their rights to be safe and feel safe given more consideration by the school and police at the time of the offences?

The trial showed how children and their parents reported the defendants to the authorities on a number of occasions, but all too often were left to deal with the frightening, disturbing behaviour of the two teens themselves.

Police were contacted when one of the boys began creating and sharing disturbing, extremist content on Instagram in March last year, including Nazi ideology and live suicides and would send distressing and disturbing images to students he disliked. The first time he did this he was given a community order by police - the second time they just had a word.

Some of the pupils at the school who gave evidence at the trial spoke of how they were aware the boys intended to carry out a shooting at the school, while others were aware their names were on the defendants’ “hit list”. The court heard one boy describe how he didn’t know if he would survive at school.

Yet, even when the younger teenager described to police how he intended to kill students and teachers at the school, no formal action was taken against them.

Earlier this year Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, published a report into the accuracy of crime recording at North Yorkshire Police, which stated they were only recording about 80 per cent of crimes reported.

HM Inspector of Constabulary, Matt Parr said too many offences were going unrecorded and so were not being investigated properly by the force. They included serious and violent crimes, which he said was “simply inexcusable”.

It is shocking to see how the behaviour of the boys escalated almost unheeded in the lead up to both boys' arrest by counter terrorism police.

Thankfully the attack wasn’t carried out, but there were still victims in this sorry saga and lessons need to be learnt.