Sutton's specialist school police officers this week are visiting hundreds of secondary school pupils in the Borough as part of National Personal Safety Day on Wednesday, 7 October. The initiative is organised by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, a national personal safety charity.
The officers will be meeting pupils over three days until Thursday (8 October) about how to stay safe including the importance of going out after dark with friends rather than alone and using a mobile phone in a way that doesn't attract the attention of potential thieves.
The schools being visited include Wandle Valley, Carshalton Boys and Stanley Park. Other schools may be visited too.
Officers will also be at the Sutton Life Centre in Alcorn Road on Thursday to coincide with a school visit to experience the centre's various safety scenarios, which include street, internet and transport safety.
This year's annual personal safety day tells children and young people to:
- Be Ready in case an incident occurs
- Educate themselves about the dangers they could come into contact with
- Be Alert to danger - it may happen when least expected
- Stay Legal - carrying a knife for self defence only endangers the carrier and others and carries with it a sentence of up to four years in prison.
Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Liberal Democrat Sutton Council, said: "It is important that our borough's young people know how to keep themselves safe and secure when they are out and about with friends or on their own. This great Safer Sutton initiative with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust should teach them how to do precisely that."
Police Sergeant Dave Jarvis, of Sutton Police station, said: "This initiative is all about highlighting some of the simple practical solutions that children can take to stay safe in Sutton, which is a low-crime borough and one of the safest boroughs in London. Although the national safety initiative is only on one specific day, we are running it over a number of days in Sutton to reach as many children as possible," he said.
Safety tips include:
- If you are socialising with a group of people, then watch out for each other and make sure everyone stays safe.
- Stay Alert. Avoid chatting on your mobile phone or listening to music on your headphones, as this will distract you from your surroundings and prevent you from hearing any potential danger signs.
- You may often be laden with books and bags but always try to keep one hand free and walk confidently and purposefully.
- If you are out at night, try to stick to busy streets and near other people. Avoid danger spots such as poorly-lit areas, deserted parks, or quiet alleyways and walk facing oncoming traffic to avoid kerb crawlers.
- Always carry the telephone number of a trusted, licensed taxi or minicab company with you or have a suitable booking app available on your phone.
- Never take an unlicensed minicab, as these are unchecked, uninsured and can potentially be very dangerous.
Parents are being invited to two community safety presentations at Sutton Life Centre on Tuesday, 20 October, at 12-1pm and 6-7pm to help keep children safe online, particularly in relation to sexting - the sending and passing on of explicit texts, images and video via mobile phone and the internet.
To book a place, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name, how many places you wish to book and state which session you would like to attend. Or call 020 8649 0681 weekdays up to 4pm. This line is available between 8am - 4pm. Please note there is no answerphone available.