Free identification wristbands that help reunite lost children with their parents are once again available at the Ekka, Police Minister Mark Ryan announced today.
The wristbands which help to reunite lost children with their parents contributed to returning almost 100 children at the 2018 event.
Minister Ryan said the Ekka grounds are so big and busy, keeping track of young ones can be challenging.
“Make use of the officers on hand at the show in communicating a safety strategy with your child and acquiring their identification wristbands.
“Ultimately, we want everyone who visits the show to be able to enjoy themselves whilst staying safe.
“With a little bit of planning and caution, we hope everyone has a fantastic time at this year’s Ekka,” the Minister said.
Officers are expecting many visitors to the Ekka Police Station this year after distributing approximately 15,000 wristbands throughout last year’s Ekka.
The wristbands have a space for parents and carers to write their contact details on them prior to securing the band to the wearer’s wrist.
In addition to obtaining a wristband on the day, police encourage parents to seriously discuss being safe at the show with their children.
Inspector Garry Watts of the Fortitude Valley Patrol Group suggested keeping records of what your child is wearing amongst his safety tips.
“If you’re able to take a photograph of your child and what they’re wearing before arriving at the show, this could greatly help officers in picking a lost child from the crowd should you have the need to report them missing,” Inspector Watts said.
Many police officers now carry QLiTE devices (iPads) with them and if a child is lost, the image you have taken can be emailed to officers walking and patrolling the area.
Inspector Watts also explained the importance of collecting an identification wristband early on in the day.
“We also encourage parents to bring children to our exhibit at the Ekka Police Station so that they are familiar and comfortable with what a police officer looks like, should they need help either at the show or away from it.
“If a child becomes lost, they should be encouraged to stand still for a few minutes while mum and dad can attempt to find them.
“If after that time, they can’t see their parents, children should then be told to look for a police officer, or if none are in sight, a stall holder.
“There were 91 reported lost children and vulnerable persons at last year’s show, and it’s our hope that this year results in even fewer.
“We know that it’s one of the worst feelings when you are unable to find your child, so please be vigilant, be careful, talk to your child and make sure they know what to do if, worst-case scenario, they become lost.”
Schools and community groups bringing children to the Ekka are encouraged to register their attendance with police at the wristband marquee at the Ekka Police Station.
This will enable police to quickly contact the relevant carers, should a child become separated from the group.
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan