Streetwise plan to aid children

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The Independent Online
A campaign to make children more streetwise and less vulnerable to attack was launched yesterday by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust .

The move comes after a national survey, conducted for the trust, revealed 73 per cent of people believe children have become more exposed to personal and physical risk over the past five years.

The campaign, launched at a conference in London, was attended by academics and educationalists. It includes an advice leaflet and video which organisers hope will be adopted in schools.

Diana Lamplugh, mother of the missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh and founder of the charity, said: "Schools are not doing enough to alert young people to the dangers in society. Some still dwell on the threat which strangers pose to children. Our campaign points out that sometimes youngsters are at risk from a person they know.

"Many incidents go unreported to the police, and our research shows young people often carry weapons which, in itself, can lead to problems.''

She said the leaflet, On The Street, contained practical advice on how young people could improve their personal safety.

"It is basic advice, written in young people's language, It covers aspects such as what you would do when confronted by someone who might mean to attack you," Mrs Lamplugh said.

"That practical advice includes listening to your own instinct. For example, shouting. When you're scared you freeze up, shouting can release that tension and also attracts attention.

"The leaflet reinforces the message." Mrs Lamplugh said the idea for the leaflet had come from an employee at the trust. "One of our young people told me you need to print something in our language, something which teenagers will understand and relate to."

nA 14-year-old boy was recovering from stab wounds yesterday after an "unprovoked" attack outside Langdon School in East Ham.

The head teacher Vanessa Wiseman said the boy was in a "satisfactory" condition in hospital after being treated for three stab wounds to his upper body. She said "he was attacked by an unknown assailant, a youth who was not connected with the school at all. It would appear that he was asking for money from the boy who refused to give him any".