Police operation to offer safety advice to kids

North Tyneside Superintendent Mick Paterson.
North Tyneside Superintendent Mick Paterson.
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Youngsters are being warned about their personal safety as part of a new campaign.

Police in North Tyneside are working with schools to raise awareness in pupil safety in the run-up to Christmas.

During December, Operation Tinsel will see officers from the Local Neighbourhood Policing Teams visiting schools and working alongside staff and pupils to raise awareness in personal safety and crime prevention.

Over the course of the next few weeks, they will be going into schools to take part in assemblies, run crime prevention classes and issuing advice through social media.

Officers will be focusing on issues such as online safety, stranger danger, personal safety, road safety and crime prevention.

The idea behind the campaign is to get all pupils, of all ages, thinking a little more about their own safety and to take steps to protect them, their friends and their property, especially in the run-up to the festive season.

North Tyneside Superintendent Mick Paterson said: “Officers from all of the local neighbourhood policing teams across North Tyneside will be visiting schools and getting the chance to speak to pupils of all ages about these important issues.

“Personal safety is so important for young people, but especially so at this time of the year. When they go to school it is dark and often when they finish it’s getting dark so they need to take steps to make themselves as safe as possible.

“Simple things like; walking home in groups of friends or in pairs, and not alone, taking extra care when crossing the road, especially when dark, and making sure their valuables like phones, tablets and mp3 players are safe and not easy targets for thieves - they can all make a difference.

“One of the key messages we want to get across is that the police are here to support and help them. Children should always ring 999 if they feel threatened or unsafe in any situation - if they see someone suspicious or are approached by anyone they don’t know then they should ring 999 immediately and we will protect them.

“We will do all we can in school hours to get pupils thinking about safety but we need parents at home to re-enforce these messages and make sure their child is as safe as possible. I’d urge parents to speak to their children about issues like personal safety, what to do in an emergency and how to contact the police to make sure the message hits home.”

Operation Tinsel will be rolled out to schools across North Tyneside in the run up to Christmas. Extra patrols will be taking place in and around schools at key times and crime prevention advice can be found on the force website.