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Retired metro cop takes safety talk to schools

Retired Metro Police Officer Peter Keogh. Picture: Jeraye Gous

Retired Metro Police Officer Peter Keogh. Picture: Jeraye Gous

Published Nov 12, 2023


Durban — A retired Durban Metro Police officer joined hands with a primary school and held a safety talk with foundation phase pupils, in grades 1-3 in a fight against crime, specifically kidnappings.

Retired cop Peter Keogh spoke to Penzance Primary School pupils on Thursday informing them about tips and skills regarding safety and stranger danger.

With 43 years of policing experience, Keogh believed it is important to hold safety talks throughout the community and especially in schools in a fight against crime – specifically kidnappings.

He expanded this by sharing road safety measures – which included looking both sides constantly; and wearing bright clothes in the dark so that others can see you. He then included triggers to notice when a stranger offers them a lift home.

“I’m hoping my talks will not only save lives but try to inspire our children to believe in themselves and follow their dreams,” said Keogh.

Retired Metro Police Officer Peter Keogh held a talk at Penzance Primary School. The talk addressed issues of safety and stranger danger and alerted youngsters (Grades 1-3) how to ensure their own safety. Picture: Jeraye Gous

Amongst the themes in the talk, are topics such as road safety, bullying and how to call the police when one senses they are in danger.

He said, “Children need to be taught these topics as they are vulnerable and so many are kidnapped and snatched from our streets. With my experience and dealing with horrific incidents/cases, I believe it qualifies me to speak to children on such dangers they face on a daily basis.”

“Strangers do all sorts of tricks and even offer to give a child a lift home. They even ask the child to assist them to look for their lost dog and then they end up being captured; so it is important to inform parents if they are about to go with an adult that isn’t them.”

From Left: Head of Foundation Phase Michelle Harding, presents Peter Keogh with a token of appreciation following the talk. Picture: Jeraye Gous

In terms of road safety, he said that children must do three things and if they stick to it, they will be safe and not involved in accidents. “Stop. Look. Listen. Look right, left, right again. Then cross the road and repeat the process,” Keogh said when advising the children on crossing the road.

He advised the children to never ever touch or engage a firearm; and that instead, they should call their parents when they see one.

Michelle Harding, Head of Foundation Phase said they were grateful to Keogh for giving his time to speak to the children.

“It is very important to have such talks in this day and age as today’s children are very trusting. It’s also important for them to hear an outside perspective to that of school teachers,” she said.

Harding added that the school has plans to invite him again and teach more lessons to the pupils.

Peter Keogh and Melokuhle Khoza wearing a police officer costume. Melokuhle's mom also works with Metro Police and Keogh said he's worked with her. Picture: Jeraye Gous

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