Crime prevention tips from the Dallas Police Department:
Every year, thousands of children are affected by crime. Although crime may be lower in certain areas, there is no neighborhood or area that is completely crime free. A lot of conversation regarding crime prevention is had between adults. Parents should have a conversation with children of all ages about what to do and what not to do. Teaching your children the basics about crime prevention may help if they are ever in an emergency situation. It’s our job – our duty – to keep our children safe. That doesn’t mean locking them in the house until they’re 25; however, your responsibility does extend to teaching basic safety and crime prevention. Please be sure to read over and share these crime prevention tips with your children.
• Help your child learn their full name, phone number (including area code), and address (including city and state). If your child knows your contact information well, help them to learn another family member’s contact info.
• Teach your kids how to identify “safe” adults, like a police officer or security guard or teacher. Please don’t tell children, “You see that police officer? He’s going to take you to jail if you don’t stop.” That does more damage than good. We want children to come to us, not be afraid or run from us.
• Explain to your children that they should never accept a ride, food, or gifts from someone they don’t know.
• Take logical safety precautions in public, like accompanying younger children to the bathroom.
• Designate a safe spot in your neighborhood, like a trusted friend’s house, to go to in case of emergency.
• Consider having your children carry a house key with them in a safe place (inside a shirt pocket, key chain or sock). Don’t leave it under a mat or on a ledge outside the house.
• Have children – teens too – check in with you at work or with a neighbor when they come home from school. Be sure they memorize your work phone number and give this number to a neighbor too.
• Parents should take time to listen carefully to children’s fears and feelings about people or places that scare them or make them feel uneasy. Tell them to trust their instincts. Take complaints about bullies seriously.
• Children should be taught never to take guns, knives or other weapons to school. They should be taught to tell a school official immediately if they see another student with a gun, knife or other weapon.