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City weaves a safety net for Hanover Park children<p>The City of Cape Town today, 9 December 2016, launched a child safety pilot project in Hanover Park to raise awareness about a protocol developed to fast-track community response times in cases where children go missing.</p><p>The City recognises that the South African Police Service is the primary agency responsible for tracing missing persons and this project will be in support of existing measures. It has its roots in a request from the local ward councillor following the disappearance of three-year-old Sasha-Lee November in Hanover Park in May 2015.</p><p>The plan is to use existing City resources in Hanover Park to solidify the response in the event of a child disappearing, including the members of the Women in Rental Stock initiative, the Metro Police neighbourhood safety officer, and the City’s enforcement agencies. </p><p>‘The idea is quite simple. We want to ensure that the community knows what to do as soon as it becomes apparent that a child has disappeared. Those first two hours after a person goes missing are crucial and the more resources we can coordinate and mobilise in that time, the better the chances of finding them,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little.</p><p>In terms of the protocol that the City has developed, a suburb coordinator is appointed – in this case likely a member or members of the rental stock initiative who have been trained in this regard – and in the event of an incident, they are informed and are responsible for:<br>• getting relevant information from the family, including recent photographs<br>• informing the 107 Public Emergency Communication Centre and relevant missing persons organisations<br>• activating the City’s Metro Police and Traffic Services to set up vehicle checkpoints or use the City’s CCTV technology to assist in the search, and liaising with the South African Police Service<br>• mobilising the community to set up search parties and distribute information, photographs and flyers<br>• publishing details of the missing child via social media channels and other information-sharing platforms</p><p>‘I’m happy that we have developed this protocol as it gives everyone a clear idea of what to do in the event that a child disappears, but of course the first prize is to prevent child abduction altogether. That is why we also have to continue our efforts around education and awareness to promote child safety. We know that the world is a dangerous place, yet so many children are left unsupervised and vulnerable to strangers, but also acquaintances with bad intentions. We need to speak openly to our children about abuse and exploitation, no matter how difficult a conversation it is. It could mean the difference between life and death. I also urge communities to start holding each other accountable for child safety and to step in when they see that children are potentially at risk,’ added Councillor Little.</p><p>The City urges parents to take note of the following safety tips, particularly during the school holidays:<br>• Ask a trustworthy neighbour to keep an eye on the children when you are at work<br>• Teach children about fire safety and what to do in an emergency<br>• Ensure that they know the <a>107</a> number, i.e. <a>107</a> from a landline and <a>021 480 7700</a> from a  cellphone<br>• Keep a list of other relevant contact numbers within easy reach<br>• Set out chores and activities for your children to keep them occupied</p><p>The City’s Metro Police Department has also devised a list of general safety tips for children, including the following:<br>• Always inform your parents or friends of your whereabouts and who you are with<br>• Do not go to shops or parks on your own. Always walk in a group<br>• Always go straight home after visiting a friend or being out, etc. <br>• Do not go anywhere with strangers or accept anything from strangers<br>• If you are being followed, seek help at the nearest house or alert other people in the vicinity<br>• If you feel uncomfortable about the way someone is touching or talking to you, tell someone you trust (like your mom or dad  or teacher or the police), even if the person threatens you not to</p><p> <br> <strong>End</strong></p>2016-12-08T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#3e26e42a-10d8-49df-ae5e-3ccf93541793;L0|#03e26e42a-10d8-49df-ae5e-3ccf93541793|Hanover Park;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#6126e18d-765a-4539-b8e6-44342a1babf7;L0|#06126e18d-765a-4539-b8e6-44342a1babf7|Missing children;GPP|#3e26e42a-10d8-49df-ae5e-3ccf93541793;GP0|#9ab12be7-0e0d-462f-8432-312ba4ee14fe;L0|#09ab12be7-0e0d-462f-8432-312ba4ee14fe|Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department1


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