Mar 19 2008
EXCLUSIVE by Michelle Fiddler, Liverpool Echo
Child safe wristband
CHILDREN in Liverpool are to be offered identity wristbands in case they go missing while out with their parents.
A hotline has also been set up for parents to contact city centre CCTV operators as soon as they lose sight of their child.
It will connect them to the CCTV control rooms of Liverpool council, St John’s shopping centre and Clayton Square shopping centre.
The Child Safe Zone scheme, which is launched today, will see more than 20,000 of the free wristbands made available to parents in the city centre while they are out shopping.
Liverpool Central business improvement district (Bid) has linked up with city centre retailers and Liverpool council to set up the project which is being funded by Bid, Citysafe and St John’s centre.
Shoppers will be able to collect a free wristband for their child, on which they can write identity and contact details, from several shops in the city centre.
Rita Waters, chief executive of the business improvement district which represents city centre shops, said it would provide peace of mind to people while shopping in the city centre.
“This is a really valuable service that makes Liverpool city centre an even safer and more pleasant place to shop. Children being separated from their parents is a really rare event, but in case it happens this service can reunite them quickly and safely with their child.”
Anyone who finds a lost child will be able to immediately contact their parents, or the helpline number, and let them know they are safe.
Families should look out for the Child Safe Zone’s smiley orange balloon stickers on shop windows throughout Liverpool city centre, displaying the helpline number: 08700 621910.
Anyone losing sight of a child in their care or any shopper finding a lost child can call the number on the sticker to speak directly to the security team.
Carol Cooper, head of marketing at St John’s and Clayton Square shopping centres, said: “Child Safe has been operating successfully in more than 90 shopping centres across the country so we are delighted to be setting up this scheme in Liverpool for the first time.”
The wristbands for children are available from:
The 08 Place, Whitechapel.
Wilkinsons, St Johns shopping centre.
Merseytravel Information Centre, in Queen Square.
Disney Store, Church St.
Toni & Guy, Whitechapel.
Silverberg Opticians, Whitechapel.
Cavern Walks centre.
Primark, Church Street.
Lewis’s, Ranelagh Street.
James Bulger's mother supports the campaign >>>
James Bulger's mother supports the campaign
THE mother of murdered toddler James Bulger today gave her backing to the Liverpool Childsafe scheme.
Two-year-old James went missing during a shopping trip with his mother, Denise Fergus, at the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle in February 1993.
It later emerged that James had been abducted and killed by 10 year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.
Mrs Fergus, who last week marked what would have been James’s 18th birthday by launching the James Bulger House Appeal, which aims to raise £1m to fund the Red Balloon Learner Centre to provide an educational refuge for bullied children, welcomed the idea and said she would like to see the wristbands available everywhere.
Mrs Fergus, 38, from Kirkby, said: “This is a really good idea. Everyone hopes it will never happen to them, but in fact it is frighteningly easy for a child to get separated.
“In the world today there are so many threats and dangers for children that anything that helps keep them safe has to be encouraged.
“It is going to be really worthwhile. I'd like to see them available everywhere.”