Letter: Take children’s safety seriously

Children shouldn't be playing outside unsupervised after dark

Re: Girl approached in Windsor Park. Oak Bay News Feb. 3

Regarding Christine van Reeuwyk’s  alarming report on what may well have been a “near-miss” incident for a very young child in Windsor Park on Jan. 29.

It is stated that police were called at around 7 p.m. after it was reported a 10-year-old girl had been approached by a 40 to 60-year-old man whilst, according to Oak Bay police’s community liaison officer,  “she was just doing what kids do, playing with her friends.”

I am staggered at the naive inference of this police comment which seems to suggest that it is quite normal and acceptable for 10-year-old children to play in the park at 7 p.m., after dark and unsupervised to boot.

For children, there is no sure safety in numbers after dark, as this latest near confrontation in Windsor Park clearly illustrates.

Furthermore, this incident surely demands a more dogmatic police response and more positive media reporting, to ensure parents are made to realize the careless irresponsibility of allowing their little darlings to be exposed to possible danger.

Const. Rick Anthony proclaims that people should not be afraid but suggests that being “aware” should suffice. This was not the case on Jan. 29 because it was not until the child registered being “afraid and uncomfortable” that she sought help. This is not the sort of decision that should be left to a 10 year old.

Finally, let’s ensure all parents as well as all their children clearly understand that  outdoors after dark can be dangerous.

Derrick Johns

Oak Bay