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Letter to Parents/Carers from West Midlands Police – Return to the Academy

As the summer draws to a close, it’s time to talk to your children about safety tips, including: transport; eSafety; peer confrontation; and home security.

Transportation Safety

Whether children walk, ride their bicycle, or take the bus, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some top tips to make sure your child travels safely:

Walkers
  • Review your family’s walking safety rules and practise walking to the Academy with your child;
  • Before you cross the street, stop and look left, right, and left again to see if vehicles are coming;
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing and always cross streets;
  • Stay alert and avoid distanced walking.
Bike Riders
  • Teach your child the rules of the road, and practise riding the route to the Academy with your child;
  • Come to a complete stop before crossing the street;
  • Walk bikes across the street;
  • Stay alert and avoid distanced riding;
  • Make sure your child always wears a properly fitted helmet, and bright clothing.
Bus Riders
  • Teach your child the rules of bus safety, and practise the journey to the Academy with them including the proper way to get off and on the bus;
  • Teach your child to stand six feet (or three giant steps) away from the curb.

 

Peer Confrontation

A new academic year means new classmates and new personalities. People of all ages, not just children, must constantly learn and grow in order to have healthy relationships with the people around them. Children rely on us to learn how to navigate these relationships.

If your child is receiving bullying messages online, here are some actions you can take:

  • Block the individual on the app, social network, or device;
  • Print or screenshot the messages or interactions, so you can share them if requested by the Police;
  • Remind your child that everyone faces social problems from time to time, and it’s not something they have to deal with on their own.

After-hours Safety

Getting home from the Academy safely is just as important as arriving safely. All of the transportation rules that apply on the journey in, apply for the journey back. If your child has a mobile telephone, then this is the time to turn it on, so they can reach you, or call 999 in an emergency.

For children that return home unsupervised, make sure that once they let themselves in, they know to lock the door immediately. They should never let anyone else in the house, especially a stranger, they should not even answer the door to them. If you have an alarm, they should arm the security system immediately after locking the door behind them.

Households with on-the-go children can also benefit from smart locks, video doorbells, and security cameras:

  • Smart locks allow you to give every family member or visitor a customisable PIN to lock and unlock the door. Parents/carers can use the accompanying smartphone app to see who comes home and when. Also, children will experience fewer lockouts because they won’t have to remember, and keep safe, a key;
  • Video doorbells can send you activity alerts, so you receive an update whenever someone is on the doorstep. Know when your child gets home, if they bring anyone with them, or if there’s suspicious activity in the area;
  • Security cameras extend your eyes and ears into common areas. If you select a model with two-way communication, you can even talk to your child through the camera.

Staying Safe in Sandwell

Crime and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in Sandwell, and we work really hard with our young people and the Academy, so they’re aware of this. Police Officers and PCSOs, together with colleagues from Sandwell Council, will be out and about on patrol every day, and we are looking forward to positive engagement with our young people.

Please stay safe, enjoy the return to the Academy, and we look forward to this term being a wonderful term for all of us.

Yours sincerely,

Kym Jones
Partnership Team Sergeant

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