Stranger danger reports involving Kamloops school kids prompt street proofing reminder | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Stranger danger reports involving Kamloops school kids prompt street proofing reminder

September 17, 2021 - 3:52 PM

Two reports of suspicious occurrences involving students have been made to Kamloops RCMP since schools opened this year, one in Westsyde involving a suspicious vehicle and another in Sahali.

The reports, which are under investigation, prompted a collaboration between Kamloops RCMP and School District 73 to push parents to teach their kids street smart safety tips, according to an RCMP media release.

Street smarts can help youth recognize and respond properly to suspicious activity, RCMP said.

“Police and the School District work very closely together and take suspicious occurrences very seriously, collecting and investigating all information available,” Corp. Dana Napier with the Kamloops RCMP Community Policing Unit said in the release.

“Trust your instincts,” Napier said. “If something happens that feels off or suspicious, let a safe adult or police know as soon as possible so they can act on the information as quickly as possible.”

Below are some tips RCMP have provided to help families discuss street proofing:

• If a vehicle is involved, try to take notes describing the suspicious vehicle, license plate, and the stranger’s description. Call 9-1-1 for help
• If possible, give your child a cell phone when they are away from home
• Children and teens should play and walk to places with a buddy. If they become separated or lost, they should tell someone with a nametag (for e.g. a cashier or security guard) immediately.
• Avoid long conversations with strangers. If someone you do not know asks you personal questions, such as: Where do you live? DO NOT answer! Run away or leave the situation immediately
• It’s okay to say NO to adults who ask you to do something for them, such as: help them find a lost pet, join them in an activity or game, or give them directions
• Never walk with or accept a ride, money or gifts from strangers or even someone you may know, without checking with your parents. Keep a safe distance (two arm lengths) from strangers and cars that approach you
• If a person tries to grab you - scream loudly, make a lot of noise, and try to create a disturbance (e.g. knock things over, scatter belongings, kick wildly). Shout, Help, this person is not my parent! Run to a safe location like an open store

Older Children:

• If you are taking a public bus, always sit near the bus driver
• Reduce the use of headphones or use of electronic devices that can distract you from your surroundings when you are walking

Everyday Basics:

• Know your home address and landline phone number
• Know how to contact your parents on their cell phones or at work
• Know how and when to call 9-1-1 in an emergency from a landline phone and from a cell phone
• Establish a secret word for your family. This should be used in emergencies to identify a ‘safe person’ other than their parent or caregiver
• Play what if games with younger children to reinforce these safety messages

Additional personal safety messages for children are available through Safe at Play here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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