News

UPDATE: The advice from the Morcombes that may save lives

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Bruce Morcombe addresses the Mountain Creek Primary School assembly, informing kids how to stay safe. He was ecstatic to find out his advice had made a difference for a Hervey Bay student who was approached by a man and asked to come with him this week.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Bruce Morcombe addresses the Mountain Creek Primary School assembly, informing kids how to stay safe. He was ecstatic to find out his advice had made a difference for a Hervey Bay student who was approached by a man and asked to come with him this week. File

UPDATE: It is the simple advice the Morcombes give that they believe could save a child's life.

Recognise, react and report.

With just three words, kids are given a framework to deal with any approach made by strangers who might try to lure them away.

Bruce Morcombe said the first step was to recognise a potential threat.

He said for kids, if they felt scared or nervous that was a sign they needed to remove themselves from the situation.

The next step was to react - get away from the potential threat or call for help.

Finally, kids needed to report what had happened to police or an adult they could trust.

Bruce said it was important for kids to keep those steps in mind in order to protect themselves. 

EARLIER: A HERVEY Bay mum says advice given by the family of Daniel Morcombe may have saved her son's life after a man tried to lure the 13-year-old back to his home.

Krissie Miller said she wanted to share the story in the hope of making other parents aware of the dangers faced by children, even when they were simply on their way home from school.

She said the fact that her son was with a friend did not stop the man from approaching him as he rode his bike along Queens Rd in Scarness.

"The man tried to get him away from his friend."

The incident happened about 3.30pm on Wednesday.

Ms Miller said when her son was approached by the man who told him to come home with him, his first instinct was to tell him to get lost and call the police.

The police arrived at the scene two minutes later and spoke to the man before issuing him with a fine for disorderly behaviour.

Ms Miller said she felt a fine was not punishment enough for the man's actions, but under Queensland law, there was little else the police could do according to a police spokeswoman.

Ms Miller said she strongly encouraged parents to have a conversation with their children about how to react if strangers approached them.

She said her son was recovering from the incident.

"He was pretty shaken. It took him a while to calm down," she said.

Ms Miller, who is a candidate in the upcoming Fraser Coast council election, said stranger danger was an issue she and her son had spoken about.

She said it also helped that Bruce and Denise Morcombe, whose son Daniel was the same age as Ms Miller's son when he was abducted and murdered in 2003, had visited her son's school and provided tips and strategies for staying safe.

Mr Morcombe said he was ecstatic that the advice the teen had received had helped him protect himself.

Mr Morcombe said when talking to children, they always emphasised three points - recognise, react and report, and he believed Ms Miller's son had followed those directions perfectly.

He encouraged parents to come up with a password for their children so if there was any doubt, the child would have a foolproof way of knowing whether the person had been sent by their parents to collect them.

"It's incredibly simple but it will give the child added confidence," he said.

"If they don't know the password, don't get in the car."

Mr Morcombe said the key was helping children recognise their reactions for what they were - warnings.

He urged kids to pay attention if they felt frightened or nervous if a stranger approached them.

Staying safe

Bruce Morcombe said it was helpful for kids to remember three things - recognise, react and report.

Recognise the threat

React by running away or calling for help

Report what happened to police or an adult

Topics:  child abduction morcombe



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