Brandon, Manitoba – On Friday, September 23rd, the police service received two reports from two separate locations regarding possible unusual activity involving children near schools after the school day ended. The first incident occurred at Meadows School where a student stated a 2 door grey car with man she described as black driving was stopped on the street. The man either opened the door or rolled down the window and offered the child some candy. The child ran away and the vehicle left the area. There were several other children and adults present nearby. The second incident involved a student walking home from King George School in a back lane when felt she was followed by a white van for three blocks. The van did not stop and she was not approached by anyone. The van continued driving past when she reached home.
Following the initial complaints, the area around each location was checked by officers without locating any vehicles or persons matching descriptions provided. The BPS School Resource Officer has completed follow up interviews with the involved children and there was no further information gained. The two incidents are not believed to be related.
The police service offers the following safety tips for parents…….
Teaching your child the right responses to various situations can help keep them safe if they’re ever approached by someone with less-than-benevolent intentions.
Below are some tips that you may consider to assist in keeping your child safe:
- Whenever possible have your child walk in groups or at least in pairs with a friend.
- Create a safety password that you share between you, your child and the trusted adult who may be picking them up from school or home. Your child should never go with anyone, even someone they may know or someone who offers them gifts, unless the adult can tell your child the secret password.
- Sometimes, making a ruckus is a good thing! In situations where someone tries to forcibly take your child somewhere, tell them to raise a loud commotion – scatter the contents of their backpack, push nearby objects over, etc. – and scream, “This person is not my parent/guardian/family!”
- Remove any visible identification on your child, such as nametags on a backpack or lunch box. Strangers may use the child’s name to build trust and rapport with your child.
- Teach your child who they can run to for help if they’re ever approached by a stranger that makes them feel uncomfortable. A person in a uniform, a school teacher, and other similar people are some suggestions.
- Teach children not to talk to strangers, go anywhere with them, or accept gifts from them without your permission. Tell them that if they see a suspicious stranger hanging around or in their school they should tell an adult.
- Help children memorize their phone number and full address. Write down other important phone numbers such as your work and cell phone on a card for your children to carry with them.
Brandon Police Service