Bryan's Blog

Disclaimer: Please note that these ‘blogs’ are the view of the author and not the NZ Police, for police advice and safety tips – please visit https://www.police.govt.nz

So straight from me to you let’s get talking about – Community safety, your safety, kids safety, mental health, public safety, crime prevention, pink shirt days and that’s just the start. The blog isn’t meant to be the definite source on safety, but a starting point…

Please feel free to publish articles (in their entirety only) and credit the webpage if you do please (it’s only good manners after all)

Stay safe/ Kia noho haumaru

Bryan


Back to School

School is almost back in session and while back to school photos or the first day of school photos can be lots of fun especially for relatives or friends that view them you also need to be very careful about the information that you are sharing with people that you and your child don’t know on social media.

It’s not your child being in the photo that is the problem, it’s what is behind them and the supplementary information you are providing : Be aware of confidential information that you might unconsciously sharing with strangers. Think about factors like where am I taking the photo, is my letterbox or house number in the photo, is my house easily recognisable, are there any easily identifiable landmarks in the picture, is my child’s school badge/school name on their uniform, is my car or my car license plate number in the photo…. (most of the above information can be blurred, altered or emojis can be placed over them in the picture)

Among some of the things NOT to include in your child’s photos you post on social media :

The name of your child’s school
The age of your child
Your child’s classroom, classroom number or school
Their Teacher’s name
Personal information, something as innocent as “ Tommy can’t wait to get back to school and catch up with all his soccer mates from the XYZ club” or “Great that Michelle is in class with her bestie Jane from 123 cheerleading ” (
Location settings on the photo information

To give you some idea - A 2020 study in the UK by Parent Zone showed that the average parent posts about 1,500 pictures of his or her child by the time they turn 5…

Every parent wants the best for their child but parents don’t forget that you might be causing your child some real embarrassment in 15-20 years’ time when their workplace can easily access their cute 1st day at school picture straight off the net !!

Be sure to talk to your kids about oversharing information on the net/social media and make sure to check privacy settings on all your social media, and photo settings on your phones and devices at the same times.

By all means celebrate the fact your child/children is going back to school but be sure to pause for a second before you share or think about sharing the pic on social media and please be aware what personal info you are sharing with strangers….Most people overshare information on social media without realising how much they have shared.

If you need information on how to keep you and your whanau safe on the internet then visit the following websites for information :  

https://www.dia.govt.nz/Online-Safety

https://www.police.govt.nz/advice-services/cybercrime-and-internet/internet-safety

https://www.keepitrealonline.govt.nz/parents/keeping-your-family-safe-online/

https://netsafe.org.nz/


Safety for Kids 101

Keeping kids safe, is something I have been doing for the last twenty years. Whether it be on the television, on radio as "Bryan and Bobby", or in person during a visit to a local school or kura.

One of the questions I get asked time and time again by parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties is ...How do I get my kids to learn about safety”?

There are a few things I have learnt along the way on my journey as a police officer, which you can do to make safety actually sound like something kids should be interested in. This will help offset their worries about feeling and being safe.

Some of the best ways to strike an interest with kids (and not just for safety ) is to make the learning fun. Make sure you explain what it is you (and they) are doing, to keep them safe.
The filming of Bryan and Bobby was a lightbulb moment for me, highlighting how often adults don’t give the kids” THE WHY” when asked to do something.

For example, It is staggering the number of kids that I talk to, who when asked, “Why do we hold hands in the carpark or crossing the road with mum or Dad ?”  answer with: “Because you will get into trouble if you don’t” or “So you don’t get killed” or “So you don’t get growled at by Dad.”

So try a simple trick - engage and explain THE WHY for kids safety.
For example, when talking to my 5 year old about the importance of holding hands when crossing the road I did the following :

I explained to him, that it was like holding the hand of a giant ,who could see and hear further than he could and that ‘the giant’ would keep him safe if anything dangerous was seen.

I explained he could help the giant, by finding the safest place to cross and then checking the road in both directions three times to make sure the way was clear and it was safe to cross. Using our eyes and ears to listen for traffic, helps keep us and the giants safe too.

I demonstrated as we walked across the road, that we don’t run or skip and keep looking and listening in both directions for traffic, to make sure it was still safe.

Safety should be just like anything else we learn in life. It should have the elements of fun, discovery and empowerment otherwise it becomes nothing but a tedious chore or a command that we follow As William M. Jeffers, former President, Union Pacific Railroad Co once stated “Safety applies with equal force to the individual, to the family, to the employer, to the state, the nation and to international affairs. Safety, in its widest sense, concerns the happiness, contentment and freedom of all."

Regards/Stay safe/ Kia noho haumaru

Bryan