Since students returned to school earlier this month, Kamloops Mounties have received two reports involving suspicious vehicle near school areas.
Const. Crystal Evelyn said the two reports were in Westsyde and Sa-Hali.
While police investigate the reports, Evelyn said they are good reminders for parents and guardians to discuss street-smart safety tips with their children.
“Police and the school district work very closely together and take suspicious occurrences very seriously, collecting and investigating all information available,” said Cpl. Dana Napier of the detachment’s community policing unit.
“Trust your instincts. 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.”
Some tips to help families discuss street proofing:
In the community:
• If a vehicle is involved, try to take notes describing the suspicious vehicle, licence plate, and the stranger’s description. Call 9-1-1 for help.
• If possible, give your child a cellphone 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 name tag (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 you live, do not answer. Instead, run away or leave the situation immediately.
• It is OK 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!” and run to a safe location, such as an open store.
• If you are taking a public bus, always sit near the driver.
• Reduce the use of headphones or use of electronic devices that can distract you from your surroundings when you are walking.
• Know your home address and landline phone number.
• Know how to contact your parents on their cellphones or at work.
• Know how and when to call 9-1-1 in an emergency from a landline phone and from a cellphone.
• 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.