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Mercury asks: Do you know where your child is?

An initiative aiming to combat an increasing problem of bored youngsters who turn to petty crime has been launched by the Weston & Somerset Mercury.

Through its Safety In Numbers campaign, the paper is highlighting the problems caused by groups of children as young as 11 who congregate around the town, and are turning to vandalism, smoking, drinking or drugs.

And it is hoping that by taking a closer look at these problems, it can start to do something to improve the situation.

One aim of Safety In Numbers is to encourage parents to take more responsibility for their children and, in turn, persuade youngsters to keep their parents informed of where they are.

To make it easier for children to do this, the paper is printing special cards, which it is hoped children will use to write contact telephone numbers on for their parents to help them keep in touch.

It is also planning to look at others ways of making sure youngsters are safe when they are out and ensure they have somewhere appropriate to gather, instead of parks or street corners.

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