North West Area Police have been working hard to tackle crime during the pandemic. One key area that supports this is educating young people around personal safety. With the difficulties in reaching young people to raise awareness at this time due to a national lockdown we would kindly ask those that care for children to please have a conversation about personal safety with them about how they can best look after themselves and their property whilst out on their own to help prevent them becoming victims of crime.
Main points to discuss are:
Whilst we appreciate many young people possess smart phones, wireless headphones and other digital items, try and keep their use to a minimum whilst out and about. If they have to make calls try and make the call before they leave the house or school. Keep the items in bags or pockets, do not just carry them in their hands. Bicycles and E-Scooters are often attractive to thieves, so make sure they are property marked and locked up when not in use. There are still current legal issues around using E-Scooters in public places at this time so they should be used in private only.
Avoid traveling alone
If your young person is going out, be it to home or school, or elsewhere, they should try and travel with a friend. If this isn’t possible, then avoid walking through secluded areas, stick to the well-lit main roads. If they feel like they are being followed go to the nearest local place of safety, this may be somewhere like a shop, library or even head back to school. If this isn’t possible keep walking and always call 999 on their mobile to ask for help. Make sure they are aware of the road they are on to assist police getting to them quickly.
Pay attention to surroundings
Be aware of where they are and who is nearby. If they have to make a call or send messages, make it short, don’t spend prolonged periods of time looking at devices. If they are listening to music keep it at a level that they can still hear what’s going on around them.
What to do if you are a victim
In the unfortunate event that they are a victim of street robbery our advice is stay calm and hand over whatever items that are being requested as these are replaceable. Try and remember as much about the person as possible to support the police in locating the person such as Ethnicity, Accent, Hair, Clothing, Distinctive Marks and Features. Call 999 as soon as practicably possible, please do not wait until they get home.
To help protect property, items can be registered on www.immobilise.com. This website allows you to register all manner of items including bicycles and electrical items like Smart Phones and Wireless headphones. In the unfortunate event they do get stolen they can be listed as such on the website. If a suspect is stopped the database can be checked by police to see who the items are shown as registered to.
www.fearless.org is another website that young people can use to report crime. It is linked with Crimestoppers, so the same principles of being able to report incidents anonymously apply.
We’d like to thank you for your support in keeping our young people safe. If you have any issues or questions, or would like further advice on crime prevention please contact your child’s school and ask them to pass your details to the Safer Schools Officer who will then contact you.
Barnet Safer Schools Team
North West BCU