Safer strangers, safer buildings is an award-winning campaign to help children know what to do if they get lost or feel unsafe. The campaign was launched at the House of Commons, and is endorsed by the Association of Chief Police Officers, and educational charities including the Children's Safety Education Foundation, Kidscape and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
A free film 'Teigan gets lost' is available to watch online, together with a printable version of the Safer strangers, safer buildings code, children's activity sheet and guidance for teachers, parents and carers. You can also read the following safety code with your children.
Safer strangers, safer buildings code
If you get lost, or feel unsafe, and there is no adult around that you know and trust, look for a safer stranger who you can ask for help. If you can’t see a safer stranger outside, look for a safer building you can go in to, to ask for help from the people who work there.
A safer stranger is a person who is working at their job which helps people. Safer strangers will usually be wearing a uniform. Safer strangers could be police officers, police community support officers, traffic wardens, shopkeepers, check-out assistants, paramedics and others.
Safer buildings could be banks, post offices, libraries, medical centres, shops, supermarkets, leisure centres and others.
Tell the safer stranger your name. Also, if you can, tell them the phone number of your parent or the person who looks after you.
For teachers, parents and carers
Watch the Teigan gets lost film with your child/ren and talk together about the safer strangers and safer buildings in your area.
Strangers: A stranger can be described as someone that we don’t know or someone that we don’t know well. You can say that because we don’t know the person we don’t know whether they are kind or not. Most people are kind but there are a small number of people who are not. We cannot tell who is kind just by looking at them. We must never go anywhere with a stranger or do anything for a stranger. It doesn’t matter what they say to us, we should always tell the grown-up who looks after us if a stranger talks to us.
Safer strangers: Ask your child(ren) if they can think of any safer strangers. You can say that even though these people are often strangers we call them safer strangers because they are doing a job where they help us and it is easy to recognize them because of their uniform.
Say that if your child(ren) can’t see a safer stranger outside, they should look for a safer building to go into, to ask for help inside from the people who work there.
Safer buildings: You can say that safer strangers can be found in safer buildings and that there are many where we live. A safer building is one where often there will be a reception desk and there will be someone there to help you. If a child needs help, hopefully they will be quite close to a community facility of this kind, and it will be safe for them to go there.
Once you have had a chat with your child about the safer strangers and safer buildings near where you live, go on a‘walkabout’ together to point them out to your child. Talk about how they might put the code into practice. For example, if your child gets lost in a shopping centre, talk about how they could go into a shop and find the uniformed person at the till. If they are in a cinema, they should go to the ticket office to ask for help.
*Teigan gets lost is one of five films on the DVD ‘A child’s eye view of keeping healthy, staying safe’, which is also available from www.childseyemedia.com.