Parents need to ensure their children are safe


  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 11:23 am

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Dear Editor,

This past February my family and I went to California on holidays. The day before we were to return to Calgary my wife and eight-year-old son went to the store to pick up some groceries. While at the store, my son was confronted by a man who attempted to lure him out of the store to his car. Our son told the man he would not and quickly ran off to find his mother. My wife and son immediately located the store manager to let him know what had happened. They reviewed store video to try to see if they could find footage of the man, but the man had positioned himself strategically so the camera could not capture his image.

When my wife and son arrived back at the residence where we were staying, I asked what follow up was being done. My wife replied that the manager had indicated that no crime had been committed, so there was nothing that could be done. I immediately got on the phone and demanded that the police be contacted, which he did and a police report was filed.

I then sat down with my son to see if he could describe the man now that he felt safe. He was able to describe the man from head to toe. So well in fact, that when the description was brought forward at a staff meeting at the grocery store later that day, staff members indicated that they had seen the man there that day and on previous occasions.

As the vice-president of our Rural Crime Watch in the Millarville area, I am acutely aware of the importance of information and communication in helping reduce criminal activity. I insisted on speaking to the police about the my sonís attempted abduction because I believed that it was important to ensure this was on the police radar. In doing so, I hopefully eliminated the possibility of another family being less fortunate than we were. Our holiday could have had a very different ending.

I would encourage parents to ensure your children understand they are not to engage with a stranger. I would also encourage everyone to become a member of your local Crime Watch Association, so that you will be aware of the types of criminal activity taking place in your community long before they become news. In doing so, you will help protect your family, your property and your neighbours.

Terry Beglinger



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