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Morcombes Share A Vital Message

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Senior Constable Samantha Giles and Constable Nathan Bond, from Kingaroy Police, with Bruce and Denise Morcombe

December 2, 2017

Bruce and Denise Morcombe are familiar sights around Queensland schools, but sadly their important safety message will never go out of date.

Their young son Daniel  was abducted and killed by a sex predator in 2003, in what became one of Queensland’s most high-profile missing persons cases.

The couple later established the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to remember their son, but also to educate and empower other children about personal safety.

Bruce and Denise have visited the South Burnett on many occasions spreading their safety message. Their latest trip this week took in presentations at Kingaroy, Taabinga, Cloyna, Murgon, Wooroolin and Yarraman State schools, as well as St Mary’s Catholic College, St John’s Lutheran School and St Joseph’s Catholic School, Murgon.

At the Kingaroy State High School Indoor Sports Auditorium on Wednesday, children from Years 3-7 learned about personal safety and how to keep safe.

* * *

The Morcombes’ message is simple:

  • Recognise – “If you think something is wrong, it probably is”. Listen to “body clues”, the ways that your body alerts you to danger, ie goosebumps, butterflies in the tummy, sweating, shaking. “Recognise that your body clues are telling you that something is not right.”
  • React – Remove yourself from the danger. Run to a safe place; and then …
  • Report – Tell what has happened to someone from your safety network of adults, or to someone in uniform such as a police officer. “If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, face-to-face or online, report it to an adult”.

Some other suggestions:

  • Carefully go through your friends list on Facebook and other social media and delete everyone you don’t know
  • Check all your privacy settings on Facebook so only your friends and family can see what you post
  • Don’t take the “risky” way home along a dark path or across an isolated field just to save a few minutes; stay near houses and shops, where people are out and about
  • If possible, always travel with a friend
  • Plan ahead – select a “meeting spot” in case you become separated from your parents at an event
  • If a car driver asks for directions, call out the answer, never approach the car; if they open the door, run to a safe place
  • Never get into a car with someone who is not authorised to collect you, even if you know them
  • Organise a “family password”. Only people who know the password can pick you up (“no password, no go”).
  • Set up a trusted network of five adults who you can talk to, at least two of whom are outside the family eg. a teacher, a friend’s parent
  • Always report if someone offers you gifts or money, or make threats to hurt you or someone you know
  • Learn how to ring Triple 0 and the Kids Helpline 1800-55-1800

External link: Daniel Morcombe Foundation

Daniel Morcombe ... murdered

* * *

In 2003, Daniel Morcombe, 13, was abducted and murdered on the Sunshine Coast while waiting at a bus stop.

Daniel left home on December 7, planning to catch the 1:35pm bus to the Sunshine Plaza Shopping Centre for a haircut and to buy Christmas presents for his family.

He never returned.

His murderer – convicted sex offender Brett Peter Cowan – wasn’t caught until eight years later.

Cowan was finally convicted of Daniel’s murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2014.

While the hunt was still going to find the killer, Bruce and Denise created the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to honour the memory of their son.

* * *

All calls can be made anonymously received this police report this week about an incident in the outer Toowoomba suburb of Drayton. Although this is not in our region, it serves as a real-time warning to parents …

Police are appealing for public assistance to help identify two men who may be able to assist with their investigations into the attempted abduction of a five-year-old girl on Tuesday afternoon.

Initial investigations indicate that about 4:15pm a group of young children were playing in park land on the corner of Luck and Parker streets when they were approached by a man.

The man has offered lollies to the five-year-old who has refused and the man then walked away and met up with another man.

Both men have then approached the girl again, who was riding a tricycle, and one of the men grabbed her while the other man grabbed the tricycle.

One of the other children present has yelled at the men who then released the child and walked away. They were both last seen heading in the direction of the University of Southern Queensland.

The initial man is described as in his early thirties, Caucasian, with short black or brown hair and was wearing a green shirt, black shorts, thongs and was carrying a black and yellow can believed to be Bundaberg Rum.

The second man is described as in his early thirties, Caucasian, with a slim build, short black hair and beard. He was wearing a long sleeved black shirt, black track pants with a white stripe down each leg and no shoes.

Anyone who may recognise these men and have any information that may assist police with their inquiries into this incident is urged to ring Policelink on 13-14-44 or Crime Stoppers on 1800-333-000.

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