Reducing Youth Delinquency and Preventing Minors from becoming Victims of Crime over Summer Vacation
It’s almost summer vacation for many schools in Mie and once the vacation begins it is easier for minors to become involved in crime as they relax and let their guard down. There is also the danger of children becoming victims of sexual abuse or involved in criminal activity through accessing dating websites or social networking sites.
1) Talk to your kids and create an atmosphere at home which encourages parent-child communication. Use the increased amount of time you have with your child during summer vacation to improve communication between the two of you, so that you can understand the thoughts and feelings of your child, whatever their age.
2) Be aware of your child’s daily activities. When minors become involved in criminal activity, there are often changes in the way they speak, the clothes they wear and their accessories, they may also be out until late or not come home at all. If you are concerned about your child, instead of interrogating them about their activities, wait for the right timing and ask them the reason for the changes in their lifestyle, taking the time to listen and offer advice.
3) Protecting your child from harmful data on the internet. There are many cases of minors being involved in child prostitution and criminal activity through social websites. It is important to be vigilant on the internet and on the look-out for homepages unsuitable for children. To protect your child from unsuitable content, create household rules for using the internet and set up appropriate content filters on your browser to reduce the chances of your child accessing harmful web pages.
In addition, your child’s smart phone can access the internet not only through cell phone data lines, but also via high speed wireless internet. It is important to set browsing filters for these two internet access ports on the handset.Smartphones also have various services and apps available to users, and some may need in-app content filters adjusting manually.
However, you cannot protect your child from becoming a victim of crime by simply adjusting the settings on their smart phone; they may also be able to access the internet through portable gaming devices and music players and use websites, internet games, and to communicate with strangers. There have been cases where minors have been involved in criminal incidents via these devices. To prevent this, it is important that both parents and children have the knowledge, technological ability and communication skills to protect themselves.
The Mie Prefectural Police Force has set up a hotline to receive calls about youth crime, bullying and other cases involving minors: the Shonen Soudan 110-ban (Youth Help Desk 110). The hotline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and is available via free dial on 0120-41-7876. You can also come in person to a police station or Youth Support Center.