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School holiday warning from police

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Trespass, street crime and stranger danger are the three summer warnings from police
Police have issued a triple school holiday warning in an effort to help children enjoy the summer break without risk.

Hertfordshire Constabulary is also increasing the number of patrols over the summer holidays in an effort to help young people stay safe.

In a three-pronged warning officers says youngsters need to be aware of the dangers of:

  • Trespass and damage
  • Robbery and street crime
  • Stranger danger.
Trespass and damage

Police are warning youngsters who trespass or cause criminal damage that they will be prosecuted if caught.

Officers say reports of criminal damage to schools increases over school holiday periods.

Community teams, special constables and police community support officers (PCSOs), will be stepping up patrols around empty schools during the holidays to prevent trespassers, vandals and burglars.

Police say trespassers often cause criminal damage to property during the act of breaking in as well as putting themselves in danger by using equipment unsupervised.

"Tespassing is illegal and we will take swift action against anyone who we catch who are unlawfully on private property, including schools, or identify trying to use facilities without permission," a spokesperson said.

Robbery and street crime

Police say the summer holidays are also a period when young people become victims of robbery.

Hertfordshire Constabulary says many youngsters now carry mobile phones and these together with cash and wallets are the items most frequently taken in robberies.

Police say five simple rules should help reduce the likelihood of crime.

  • Keep wallets, purses, mobile phones and any other valuables out of sight.
  • Do not use or show your mobile phone in busy places where it could easily be snatched.
  • Donít carry large amounts of cash.
  • Donít wear a lot of jewellery.
  • When walking around after dusk, try to stick with friends or take a taxi.
Stranger danger

Officers are also warning children and young people not to talk to strangers when they are playing outdoors.

They say most young people are sensible and know they should never approach or be enticed away by a stranger.

But Hertfordshire Constabulary says it wants to reinforce this message particularly at this time of year when there will be more youngsters outside playing in the good weather.

  • If you are not with a parent, teacher, or other adult who is looking after you, don't talk to strangers and never go off with anyone you do not know, no matter how friendly they appear to be.
  • If you are approached, walk away to somewhere you know is safe, or a busy place, and tell someone you know and trust what has happened.
  • If you are going out alone or with friends always tell someone responsible for you where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Donít accept sweets, ice cream or anything else from anyone without asking someone such as your parent or guardian first. Just say Ďnoí and run away.
  • If a grown-up asks for your help in looking after a puppy or minding a car, donít. Itís not rude to say no, itís just being safe.
  • Parents should remind their children that if they are scared or troubled by anything that happens to them they should call the police on 999 for free and someone will come and help.
  • Adults should also be aware that approaches to children might make them feel uneasy.

22 July 2003

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