Stranger safety reminder from police

Vernon North Okanagan

2022-10-20 12:27 PDT

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The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is investigating after receiving two reports of suspicious occurrences involving school aged children in Vernon yesterday.

On Wednesday, October 19th, 2022, at approximately 1:20 p.m., police received a report that a group of students had been approached by an unknown person at an elementary school in the 4300-block of 20th Street in Vernon. The school activated a hold and secure protocol which was lifted shortly after police arrived and determined there was no risk. The initial investigation has determined that a group of students near the edge of school grounds were asked for directions to a local business by an unknown man who then left the area.

Later that day, at approximately 3:20 p.m., police received a report that a 10-year old girl walking home earlier from school in the 4300-block of 15th Avenue had an interaction with a stranger. Initial information was that the girl was following behind a man walking a medium sized brown dog who got into a vehicle. As the girl walked by the vehicle, the dog was in the passenger seat with the window rolled down. The man asked the child if she wanted to pet the dog. The girl replied no and the man drove away.

The safety of children in our community is our utmost priority, states Constable Chris Terleski, Media Relations Officer for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP. We want to ensure our children have the tools and knowledge to keep themselves safe when they are out in public and parents and caregivers play an important role in that. Safety education is important and helps kids prepare for situations they may encounter. Talk to your kids and establish safe habits for interacting with strangers, what to watch out for, and what to do if they feel unsafe.

We also want to remind the public that any suspicious activity or occurrences should be reported immediately and directly to police.

We are working closely with our partners at School District 22 and are continuing to investigate the incidents.  Based on information we have at this time, there is nothing to indicate any criminality in either.  In each of these situations, the children acted appropriately and notified a trusted adult. We felt it necessary to inform the public for their awareness, or to invite the persons involved to contact the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP Terleski added.

Safety tips and information for parents, caregivers and children can be found on the RCMP website by clicking here.

Released by:

Cst. Chris Terleski
Media Relations Officer
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP
3402 30th St, Vernon, B.C. V1T 5E5
Office: 250-260-7161
Fax: 250-260-7191


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