Police urge children to be more alert

Mini Footsteps Kindergarten staff are, from left, Gavin Peters, Ursula Peters, Denicia Collins, Kim Lefleur, Simone Harvey, Vuyokazi Mxaka, Juanita Louw and Judith Hendricks.

As part of Youth Month and the focus on child protection, Mitchell’s Plain police officers urged children to be alert and stay away from strangers.

Speaking at a Youth Day celebration, at Westridge Gardens last Friday, June 17, hosted by Mini Footsteps Kindergarten, Mitchell’s Plain police station communications officer, Constable Nozuko Makwayiya, said they dedicate this month to child protection, focusing on educare centres.

Principal Ursula Peters said their aim is to encourage children to stay alert.

“We noticed that there are many incidents of children reported missing in our communities. So instead of just celebrating Youth Day, we decided to invite the police to help us educate (the little ones) about safety,” said Ms Peters.

She said they have other activities at school to empower the children. “We have about 45 children from infants to five years old,” she said.

Constable Makwayiya said they dedicated this month to child protection. “This is part of our programme to visit schools and educate them about safety. This year we decided to focus on crèches, giving them tips on safety.”

She urged parents to look after their children.

“Some parents fail to play their role because they leave their children roaming around in the streets till the evening. They are not firm with their children,” she said.

Constable Makwayiya said it is important that there is good communication between parents and their children and between parents and their children’s schools, especially when schools dismissed children early. Parents should prevent children from wandering around.

She also warned children to be wary of strangers and not to be lured by gifts offered by them.

Constable Makwayiya rubbished reports that there is a syndicate going around in a white Toyota Quantum mini van using drug addicts to kidnap children on the Cape Flats.

“We’ve heard about these reports on social media but there are no cases or evidence of this,” said Constable Makwayiya. She, however, urged residents to report crime to Mitchell’s Plain, Lentegeur or Strandfontein police stations.