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Children too scared of crime to play outdoors
Detail: New South Wales (NSW) child watchdog, the Commission of Children and Young People, in its Built Environment report found children are too fearful to play outside, afraid of crime in parks and on trains, and worried they will be robbed or see drugs. Children aged 4 to 18 were interviewed for the report. Children nominated their top favourite places or things to do as shopping, bowling, roller-coasters, movies, school, Disneyland, Timezone and Questacon - a science centre in Canberra.

"It's not safe on the streets if you're alone, you can't go to public toilets, the train station's not safe. There are people doing drugs," a 12-year-old boy said. An eight-year-old girl surveyed said she didn't like playing in parks because "someone might come and do things to you ... or you could be wearing bare feet and step on syringes".

This report comes after the NSW Government failed to act on a two-year-old inquiry that warned children were missing out on play time. Nearly two years later, the NSW Government has yet to implement key findings from its report that recommended the departments of Planning, Community Services, Education and Local Government come together to create child-friendly spaces. Child experts are now calling on the NSW Government to act upon its own report.
Source: Based on a story by Clare Masters in Daily Telegraph, July 28, 2008
Date: August 4 2008