Ensure kids are in class

2015-11-03 06:00

Parents are urged to ensure their children are attending school.

Children who are playing truant could be charged under the Child Act should they be found on the streets during school hours.

This charge could be brought up against the parent should the child be under the age of 16.

An initiative to get truant children in school is being run throughout the area and is aimed at minimising the abuse of vulnerable children by drug sellers, says police.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Cathy Meyer says they will do all they can to see the situation remedied before resorting to legal action.

“We will be going around asking children why they are not at school and deal with it if a valid reason is not provided. We are trying to first work with these children before opening cases, but if we see the parents are not assisting us we will take action,” she says.

The police initiative forms part of the police’s social crime prevention strategy and has two dedicated officers at the station.

Meyer explains that children are seen on the streets and recruited into drug trade and gangsterism.

The initiative was introduced some time ago and will continue to run in the policing precinct as well as throughout the policing cluster.

The project is also supported by NGOs and the department of social development which helps in facilitating the programmes and encouraging reintegration, explains Meyer.

“The department also checks the condition of the children. Sometimes there is something wrong at home and then the child acts out. In these cases the family is put through counselling,” she says.

Principals and school staff are also urged to report any troublesome youths to the station.

“Depending on what the child has done, we will recommend they be enrolled in the programme,” she says.

However, Meyer says it is still the parent’s responsibility.

“We see that many parents just don’t care enough to ensure their children are at school. They give up on them,” adds Meyer.

Parents are urged to help police by getting their children to go back to school.

V

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