Over the school holidays many children roam the streets as they are unoccupied, and they end up falling prey to crime.To make sure that doesn’t happen to children, Steenberg police held an anti-crime awareness campaign at the Seawinds Multi-purpose Centre as part of a holiday programme.About 1000 pamphlets – on drugs, hookah pipes and gangsterism– were distributed. They also displayed weapons used by gangs and instruments used for drugs.About 150 children attended. Steenberg police spokesperson Warrant Officer John Bartlett says the topics for the day were gangsterism, drugs and general safety. “The children listened attentively and they were very eager to learn. We taught them how to report such issues and the effects of gangs and drugs,” he says.Bartlett says the effects of drugs are devastating.“Some of the effects of drugs include damage to the heart, lungs, brain and even kidneys. It affects the user’s physical development, causes depression, memory loss, confusion as well as violent (outbursts) – so don’t do drugs. The first snort or sip is the start of the road downhill,” he told the children.The children also were told that once they belong to a gang, there is no way out. “People who belong to gangs may damage property, abuse drugs, steal from and rob other people and even kill. Gangs control your freedom. So if you want to be successful in life, don’t join gangs,” he warned.“You must always tell adults when someone wants to put you in a gang or try giving you drugs. Always be alert of strangers. Even people you don’t know can help you, so you must tell someone or come report it at the police station.”The same programme was also rolled out in Heron Way, Lotus River. About 50 children of Klip Kids Clubs were in attendance and gathered at the play park.The children were eager to know more and had a lot of questions to ask.V For any information on gang or drug activities contact Steenberg police on 021 702 9000. All information will be treated as highly confidential.