Dan­ger­ous time for chil­dren

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Simnikiwe Hlat­sha­neni simniki­[email protected]­ti­zen.co.za

More dis­ap­pear over the fes­tive sea­son than any other pe­riod, says or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The fes­tive sea­son is a dan­ger­ous time for chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to Miss­ing Chil­dren South Africa, and au­thor­i­ties have urged par­ents to prac­tice ex­tra vig­i­lance in pro­tect­ing chil­dren from be­com­ing vic­tims of crime, neg­li­gence or safety haz­ards.

Bianca van Aswe­gen, Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor at Miss­ing Chil­dren SA, said while sta­tis­tics were dif­fi­cult to come by, be­cause a lack of po­lice data, it was ev­i­dent to the or­gan­i­sa­tion that child dis­ap­pear­ances were still on the rise and rou­tinely spiked dur­ing De­cem­ber.

“We are aware that cases are on the in­crease, es­pe­cially around the fes­tive sea­son,” said Van Aswe­gan.

“We have seen more chil­dren go miss­ing, we have seen a spike in kid­nap­ping cases this time com­pared to other times dur­ing the year. That also in­cludes chil­dren who go miss­ing on the beaches and the malls – chil­dren tend to be an eas­ier tar­get this time of the year be­cause of all the crowded ar­eas, par­ents tend to be more re­laxed and chil­dren are eas­ily grabbed when it’s busy.”

She added that when re­port­ing a miss­ing per­son, peo­ple need not wait for any pe­riod of time and it was con­cern­ing that some par­ents were still wait­ing longer than nec­es­sary be­fore re­port­ing their chil­dren miss­ing.

“If you sus­pect that a per­son could be miss­ing, re­port it im­me­di­ately,” she said.

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