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Parents urged to talk to children about stranger danger

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After yet another attempted child luring in Grande Prairie, RCMP are urging parents to talk to their children about dealing with strangers. Constable Melanie Skidmore says it’s important for youth to know the difference between “good” strangers and “bad” strangers.

“For example, police officers, we’re strangers to your children but good strangers, versus someone who might have bad intentions when they’re in contact with them. I think it’s important that the parents inform their children that they need to tell them where they’re going to be at all times; if they’re going to a friend’s house or if they have after school sports or anything.”

Children should also never accept a gift or a ride from a stranger and not be afraid of saying no. Skidmore says that’s what two girls said to a strange man who offered them money to get in to his vehicle Monday morning near Alexander Forbes school.

“These girls did the exact right thing: they said no to the guy in the van and they ran to school; they ran to safety. In this case the male drove off and the children were no longer at risk. In a case like this, if children are approached while they’re walking to school or if they’re walking alone, that’s the best thing to do – run to safety.”

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She adds that in the worst case scenario when a stranger tries to grab a child, they should scream, kick, bite, and make it clear that the person handling them is not their parent.

Skidmore says they are actively looking for the suspect in Monday’s attempted child luring to find out if he’s been involved in any other incidents. He’s described as an older Caucasian man with straight black hair and a thin light moustache, wearing a dark jacket. The vehicle he was driving was a black Ford truck with silver rims, red writing on the side, with no canopy.

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