7 April 2010, 10:15
Police and social services have been patrolling streets in Medway to check on children hanging around on their own at night.
Operation Stay Safe took place at the start of the Easter holidays, which is when there is often a rise in youth related crime and anti-social behaviour.
The children who were spoken to were not necessarily doing anything wrong, officers wanted to check that they weren't at risk and their parents or carers knew where they were.
A total of 85 children were spoken to, 13 of them were collected and taken home by their parents while two were referred to social services.
Among those found out were a nine year-old boy who was on his own on a scooter at 9.30pm on Luton Road in Luton, Chatham, and a 14 year-old boy in full time care in Broadstairs who was in Chatham past his curfew.
Medway Council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, Cllr Les Wicks, said: “Our absolute priority is that children and young people are safe and cared for.
“Operations like this are vital to ensuring this happens."
Chief Superintendent Steve Corbishley, area commander for Kent Police in Medway and the chair of Medway Community Safety Partnership (CSP), said: “Operation Staysafe has proved an effective way of protecting our youngest citizens from getting involved or being a victim of anti-social behaviour.”
“These types of operations will not only reduce the risk of young people getting into trouble, but also reduce the fear of crime that gatherings of youngsters can often cause to the wider community.”