Helping children stay safe

AS the nights are getting lighter and more children are walking home from school, police are reminding youngsters to follow some simple advice to keep them safe. While the chance of becoming a victim of crime is extremely unlikely, by taking sensible prec

AS the nights are getting lighter and more children are walking home from school, police are reminding youngsters to follow some simple advice to keep them safe.While the chance of becoming a victim of crime is extremely unlikely, by taking sensible precautions you can reduce that chance even further, they advise.Children, in particular, should learn to stay safe, be smart and protect themselves from strangers when on their own, at school and out with friends. They should be aware of specific ploys used by strangers. They should not help strangers look for lost puppies, nor accept gifts or sweets and they should not get in a car with someone they do not know.Det Insp Stuart Cavin said: "Crime involving children and strangers in Devon and Cornwall is extremely rare. But it is still important to follow simple advice to protect yourself and make you even less vulnerable. "There have been a handful of reported incidents across the Force area about youngsters being approached by strangers, often in a car, and is it vital parents remind their children how to stay safe. These incidents have not resulted in any harm to any children, nor have any crimes been committed. But with the nights getting lighter and more people walking home, it is a good time to remind people how to stay safe, while on their own or with friends."If anyone is approached by a stranger they should report the incident to police as soon as possible. If they can, type the car's registration number into their mobile phone and any description of the stranger."Tips to keep safe:* Walk in bright, well-it and busy areas with someone you know.* Try to look and act confident. Look like you know where you are going and walk tall.* Do not accept lifts from strangers, or from people you know when the journey is not planned.* If you are approached by a stranger who makes you feel uncomfortable or tries to touch you, yell at them to stop, run to the nearest place of safety (home or school) and tell your parents or a teacher.* When out walking you should not listen to a personal stereo through headphones, you can stay more alert to your surroundings when you can hear what is going on.* Don't keep your possessions in one place. For example, keep your phone in your bag, your house keys in your pocket and your money in your jacket.* If someone tries to take something from you, it may be better to let them take it rather than to get into a confrontation and risk injury.* Shout 'fire' rather than 'help.' It can get more results.* Try not to be conspicuous about valuables you are carrying. Talking on your mobile phone, carrying a laptop, or showing friends your jewellery, all show thieves that you are worth robbing.In an emergency call 999.


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