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Police reporting parents to DOCS for kids walking/catching buses alone

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39 replies to this topic

#26 Guest_tigerdog_*

Posted 10 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

I agree, it is a bit ridicuolous but I agree to some extent that a child under 10 shouldn't be allowed out on their own, just for the fact that under a certain age children haven't developed a natural 'road sense' yet in terms of not being able to use their peripheral vision accurately to make judgements when crossing the road/negotiating traffic.

#27 JRA

Posted 12 February 2012 - 06:36 AM

Bloody hell.

#28 meggs10

Posted 12 February 2012 - 07:02 AM

QUOTE (3_for_me @ 09/02/2012, 10:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Absolutely ridiculous.  My seven year old walks home every night from the school bus stop, about 500 metres away through known suburban streets.  How ridiculous to imply that parents can't make reasoable, measured judgements on their children's ability to do something as simple as walk to the milk bar.

It isn't about whether the the parent has reasonable judgement, but about who is out there watching for an opportunity abduct kids. Almost every week there is a news report about attempted abductions and most of those are of young school kids walking alone, so a parent can't always make a reasonable judgement about whether their child will be safe or not.

I don't understand why parents can't just walk with the kids to the local shops or parks etc. Or meet them at the bus stop? Why would you want them to be out on their own in the first place?

Edited by meggs10, 12 February 2012 - 07:11 AM.

#29 Imaginary friend

Posted 12 February 2012 - 09:17 AM

don't understand why parents can't just walk with the kids to the local shops or parks etc. Or meet them at the bus stop?

Well, many reasons.

they have a baby asleep in the house, they are at work etc etc.

Anyway I dont think it is realistic or desirable to escort older children everywhere, even to the corner shop or to school or the bus stop 500m away - risks must be seen in perspective and children have to develop some (gradual, appropriate) independence sometime.

Not sure if I would be happy with a 10 year old catching public transport on their own - but certainly a designated school bus and certainly walking a short distance to sports training, school, the corner shop, their freinds house etc.

#30 BetteBoop

Posted 12 February 2012 - 09:25 AM

Please recall they didn't call DOCs. They said they might. There is a big difference.

QUOTE (Fluster @ 09/02/2012, 10:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The problem is that while certain members of the public lack common sense, so do some members of the police force.

The police aren't one entity. They're tens of thousands of individuals all with different opinions.

When I was 19 before the days of leave in conditioner, a hairdresser lecturer me about not rinsing conditioner out my hair. She said it would "strip" the hair. She was one opinionated idiot without a basic knowledge of chemistry. That's all.

QUOTE (red_squirrel @ 09/02/2012, 12:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps the police are aware of someone in the area that may be trying to abduct children. It isn't always made public and happens more often than people are aware of.

It's possible.

#31 JRA

Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:50 AM

It isn't always made public and happens more often than people are aware of.

Generally I thought schools were made aware. I know our school has sent out mails many times when there has been strange happenings that have been reported to the police.

#32 BetteBoop

Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:50 PM

QUOTE (JRA @ 12/02/2012, 11:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Generally I thought schools were made aware. I know our school has sent out mails many times when there has been strange happenings that have been reported to the police.

Maybe, but no one is told if a convicted child sex offender moves into their suburb. Perhaps that's the information police have.

#33 vonnegutesque

Posted 12 February 2012 - 01:02 PM

QUOTE (*~Katrina~* @ 09/02/2012, 10:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

NSW Education releases FREE bus passes to all children aged from Kinder (so 4/5/6) up till the end of grade 2.

From Grades 3 to 6, they are issued FREE if you live outside of the 1.4 km radius (as the crow flies).  

Something is clearly amiss here.  Education dept is saying (by means of issuing the passes) that it is ok, but the police are not.

That's what struck me too.  My 10 year old DD hasn't been entitled to a free bus pass for 2 years now, and the Education Dept considered it safe for her to be walking to and from school from the start of 3rd grade. We pay for her bus pass as she would have to cross two arterial roads and we're not comfortable with that even if the government is.

On the other hand, she can walk 3 blocks to the local shops by herself and we trust her to be sensible.

It's just crazy that these arbitrary lines are being drawn. A 10 year old catching a bus shouldn't be a matter of concern for police at all.

#34 BlondieUK

Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:16 PM

I started reading this thread about 10 minutes ago.
As I read, I heard a knock at the door. I go to answer it, and there's a reasonable young woman (late 20's/early 30's?) who greets me with "Why aren't you out the back supervising your children?"
"I'm sorry - is there a problem?"
"I live down the street and we can hear and see your children playing, and there is no one out there with them!"
"Well, I  have the back door open, and I can see and hear them, too. They play together nicely, and they can't get out."
"But we are concerned that they might get hurt. It's very cold outside today!"
At this point, I got quite irate - my boys both had gumboots, coats, hats and mittens. It is 3 degrees here, but the sun is out, and there is barely any snow left on the ground. There is an enclosed trampoline and a small swing/ladder set. The garden is fully enclosed - they cannot get out.
I said to her that I was confident that they would not get hurt (one could always fall over and get a graze, but that could happen in the living room, too!) and that they were not cold and were playing happily/ If the noise was the issue, I didn't think it was fair (they were not screaming - just calling out to each other).
She was adamant that I should be out there with them.
I disagree - our garden is (maybe) 70 feet by 40 feet and I can see every square inch from where I am sitting.

Her reaction is on a par with the police - complete over reaction.

#35 Empress NG

Posted 14 February 2012 - 02:13 PM

This is bizarre. Loads of kids walk or ride to school on their own in our neighbourhood (in Sydney) by upper primary.  My dd was still 11 when she started high school and was catching one public bus to the station, the (public) train for 2 stops and then a dedicated school bus from the station to school.  The government doesn't provide after school care for year 7 students so what are we supposed to do?  Hire nannies for them?   Quit work so we can pick them up from school at 3pm?

#36 -Emissary-

Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:55 PM

''It all depends on where they are walking, the time of the day, how far they are going and the environment they are in,'' he said.

Did everyone miss that part?

I love how everyone thinks a 10 year old should be able to walk home ANYWHERE. Sorry, DS is not going to be walking home around this area until he's old enough to drive. I didn't walk home ever - my area was filled with drug addicts 15 years ago, I would now think my parents would have been the biggest idiots if they had let a 10 year old walk 1 km home.

Would you let your 10 year old walk home if you lived in Blacktown? Penrith? Merrylands? Yagoona? Lakemba? If you do, you're brave.

My cousin used to live in Cambridge Park. She didn't let her niece (who was living with her) walk home. Overprotective? No way, not when a young girl was abducted there in broad daylight.

Edited by -Emissary-, 16 February 2012 - 09:02 PM.

#37 Guest_Buy Me A Pony !_*

Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:13 PM

I agree Emissary and think the EB hysteria is hardly warranted. Malaya was on the money with many parents lacking in basic understanding of how to keep children safe. Police do have operating procedures for reporting at risk children. It's not entirely up to their discretion. We're free range parents to a certain degree but there are parts of our town where DH will not let the children near. He simply knows too much about the people in those areas and doesn't wish to send his own into the mouth of the lion so to speak. That's not to say he doesn't think those crooks don't ever leave their area, just that the risk is perceived to be lower.

#38 Canberra Chick

Posted 18 February 2012 - 06:02 PM

I don't understand why parents can't just walk with the kids to the local shops or parks etc. Or meet them at the bus stop? Why would you want them to be out on their own in the first place?

Well, because DS who isn't 7 for another fortnight is itching to go to the swing park on his own and most kids in his year walk or bike to school alone. Obviously it does depend on the area, but round here, kids are playing in the street and walking to school alone from age 7/8.

BlondieUK - that is shocking! I'd have found it hard to restrain myself... My 2 (age 6 and 2) play out in the backyard alone all the time.

#39 geckosrule

Posted 18 February 2012 - 08:14 PM

I would hazard a guess that this has come from upper management who have no friggin idea about the "real" world and that the overwhelming majority of frontline police think it is just ridiculous as everyone here!

Politicians and the powers that be in public service are a complete joke and this kind of stuff is continually shoved down the throats of frontline staff all the time.  Common sense and practicality goes out the window!

Police know that kids can and will be on their own from time to time and they understand why after all police can be and are parents too.

#40 truffle

Posted 23 February 2012 - 11:38 PM

As somene that used to catch 2 buses home at the age of 11, I would never allow my almost 12 yr old go anywhere by herself. We've already had one attempted abduction of a child walking to school on his own recently, so I would never put any of my Daughters in that situation. And we live in Sydney's North Shore and it's considered to be a reasonably safe, Family friendly area.

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