Valuables best kept at home

THE police are appealing to students not to bring valuables and unnecessary belongings to school.

With several public and school examinations coming up soon, police believe it is an appropriate time to remind students to be more careful with their personal property and not leave their belongings in places where they could be stolen.

''We understand that students cannot help but leave their bags ool,'' said Tsang Chan Yuet-ngor, officer-in-charge of the Eastern District Intelligence Section.

Five cases of school theft were reported to the Eastern District from January to April 1994, involving a total sum of $13,400 in cash and property.

Students who leave their bags and belongings unattended outside libraries and in classrooms are warned to be careful.

''Cases of theft usually occur when a student goes into the library, or goes out for lunch or attends classes in special rooms, leaving his or her bag behind,'' Ms Tsang said.

The School Team of the Eastern District Anti-Triad section visits schools regularly, forming close ties with school heads and advising students.

''We suggest that schools allocate special storerooms where students can hand over their belongings to be looked after by special staff,'' Ms Tsang said.

Lack of space or lockers could pose a problem, however, to schools that want to implement such safety measures.

But apart from measures taken by schools, students and parents too are asked to ''do their bit'' by making sure unnecessary or valuable items are not carried to school.

''We are concerned that students carry expensive school bags, and bring valuable items and large amounts of cash to school,'' said Ms Tsang, recalling a case where a bag worth $2,800 was stolen in a school last year.

''It is amazing to learn how much money some teenagers have. They bring deluxe school bags, and bring to school expensive things like Walkmans and quite large sums of money.

''We wonder where they get so much money from. Parents should be aware of this problem and monitor what their children bring.'' In view of the problem that bags must be left unattended when students enter libraries, leave classrooms for lessons or lunch and enter examination centres, the best safeguard against theft would be to leave all valuables at home, Ms Tsang said.

''The students themselves have a responsibility. We would like to draw their attention to the possibility of theft before it is too late.'' utside the examination centres, but we hope they are well aware of the problem of theft, and will try not to bring valuables to scho