Police urge parents to talk to children about safety

Not Pelsall-specific, but a useful press release (verbatim) from West Midlands Police:

West Midlands Police is reminding parents to talk to their children about personal safety as the new academic year begins.

Many children will travel unaccompanied for the first time and may be oblivious to the fact that other commuters, including their peers, could have an eye on their valuables.

Superintendent Mark Payne, force lead for children and young people, said: “Our advice is never to bring unnecessary items such as games consoles, MP3 players and expensive mobile phones to school. If items are of value, don’t leave them unattended and use a small lock on your school bag.

“And when travelling to and from school, don’t have gadgets on display for everyone to see.”

Young people can follow some simple advice to help reduce their chances of becoming a victim of crime:

  • Never bring non-essential gadgets to school  they are much safer at home
  •  If you are travelling on public transport, walking to school or in your neighbourhood, keep your phone, games console or mp3 player tucked away out of sight
  •  If travelling by bus, sit close to the driver where possible or in view of any CCTV cameras. Avoid sitting upstairs if you are by yourself. Check service times before leaving to avoid waiting at bus stops for long periods
  • When you are walking alone, try to stick to busy streets. Avoid quiet shortcuts, especially if street lighting is poor
  • If your child is going home to an empty house, remind them to keep the front door locked and to call you when they get in each day
  • Register your valuables on the free national property registration databasewww.immobilise.com If police recover your lost or stolen belongings, you are more likely to get them back.

During the first two weeks of term, Safer Travel officers will focus their patrols on bus, train and tram routes which operate close to schools, high streets and commercial centres to encourage considerate behaviour from young commuters and deter incidents of robbery and bullying.

Officers will also ensure that the younger ‘new kids’ are safe and confident on their first few days of travelling alone on public transport.

The force’s Safer Travel team is made up of police officers and PCSOs who work in partnership with Centro, British Transport Police and transport operators to make the region’s bus, rail and Metro networks even safer.

Crime on public transport has fallen by 65 per cent in the last five years, with 345 fewer victims between April 2011 and March 2012 compared the previous 12 months.

Passengers who see any nuisance behaviour during their bus or Metro journey can say something anonymously by texting ‘bus’ or ‘metro’ followed by a space and then details of the incident including time, date, location and route number to 83010.

For more details from The Safer Travel Partnership, visit www.safertravel.info

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