POLICE have warned parents to be careful and engage their children in productive activities at all times.
The divisional manager for the Duavata Community Policing in central Suva, Inspector Sanaila Biau, said children should be kept busy during the holidays and also when they were in school.
Insp Biau said children were vulnerable and there seemed to be less care for some of them by their families.
He said police records showed that children had been involved in pick-pocketing, child labour and other petty crimes.
"Sometimes we detain some children in the police station for their own safety and even for the safety of others," he said.
Insp Biau said there was no such thing as a "street kid", saying every person had a family and it was only the issue of parental neglect and lack of guidance.
He made the comments after presenting a certificate of appreciation at the Suva district administration office yesterday.
During the function, he also revealed some statistics on crimes committed in the Suva central business district which he looks after.
Insp Biau said last year, there was a 37 per cent increase in theft in the area compared to 2011. He said some children were also involved in the thefts.
"Our main concern is to make people aware and to take ownership of their children. If children commit an offence, then their parent's names are tarnished too.
"Also, faith-based organisations have to be involved too so that the vulnerable group of people, especially children, are looked after.
"We also met the Methodist Church's Suva Central Division, which has 10,551 members, and showed them the crime statistics so that they take ownership of their community.
"The crime rate will reduce once all of us take ownership of our community and children."