‘Kids’ safety is important

2017-04-11 06:00

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Following the uproar over the recent child murders in the Mitchell’s Plain policing cluster, Strandfontein security structures banded together for a week-long drive to register children and raise awareness about missing children.

“Our respective communities were deeply saddened by the loss of the lives of Rene Roman and Stacha Arends from Mitchell’s Plain and Steenberg,” says Sandy Schuter, chairperson of the community policing forum (CPF).

“We as the safety structures and security agencies can only do so much in creating awareness around safety in the home, personal safety. In this particular instance, child safety is the parents’ responsibility. It’s their responsibility to teach their kids about safety. We have a society where child murderers and rapists get to walk the same streets our families walk.”

Educate children and parentsMembers of the Strandfontein CPF, Scorpion Security, police, Law Enforcement in the southern suburbs and Strandfontein safety structures held the drive to educate children and parents on missing persons and the importance of knowing your surroundings, parents being more cautious when sending their children out and caring about who cares for their children in their absence.

“Parents should start taking extra care of their kids, especially knowing their whereabouts,” says Schuter.

Volunteer patrol members often find youth roaming the streets after midnight, she explains.

“Either with older children or adults in a drunken state. When approached out of concern, [the patrollers] are greeted with disrespect and violence from the very children.

“When we patrol the streets of Strandfontein and find young girls walking the streets and we enquire about their journey at that hour, you hear the most vulgar language from their mouths. When we approach the parents about their child’s late nights on the streets, we are often met with extreme rudeness and aggression. Yet a week later that parent is seeking the same people they rudely chased away to help search for their missing children,” says Schuter.

Watch over children closelySchuter urges Strandfontein residents to take heed of what has happened in other suburbs and use that as motivation to watch over their children even more closely.

The week-long drive was held from Monday to Saturday in Bayview, San Remo and other parts of Strandfontein.

They took fingerprints and other important information of children and added recent photos to their portfolio for parents to take home and keep in case they something as unfortunate as a missing child happens.

“We have applied the same to the elderly, especially those with dementia, and we also spoke to children about safety and other child-related topics to raise awareness,” says Schuter.

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