Wednesday 15 October 2014

Reports of Attempted Kidnapping and Child Abductions in Bromley

It all seemed to start on Saturday when a Facebook status was being shared by many local Bromley parents with details of an attempted abduction of a child in Sainsburys by a Eastern European lady.

I did tweet asking both @sainsburys and @mpsbromley (local police) about it at the weekend but I didn't get a response from either! (I also asked the person who started it off on facebook but haven't had a reply yet but then I did only ask her this afternoon!

The whole thing just left me feeling worried.

It's a horrible thing to have happened to anyone but sometimes these things can just be rumours or a misunderstood situation, I hoped it'd be the latter rather than an actual attempted kidnapping.

Either way, I'm glad the little boy is safe and that his mum is recovering from a scary situation. You'd like to think something like this would reach the news but why would it with claiming this: 

     In the UK, a child is reported missing every 3 minutes

It was worrying me and on my mind enough to have the first "stranger danger" chat with my children, something I've never really felt the need to bring up with them, I'm not keen on telling them about the darker side of "humanity" - there's just things I'd rather they never had to think about even for a brief moment, I guess most parents feel that way.

I wasn't really going to blog about this, after all it had been one report by a friend of a friend of a friend who had shared their Facebook status ... But following on from the social media reports of the attempted kidnapping in sainsburys at the weekend ...

Monday saw an alert being circulated by Braeside Prep

"We had a email message from Braeside on Monday for attempt of abduction in Tesco, Sainsbury and Bluewater." 

Tuesday saw a parent alert from St George's school about a reported incident of an adult talking in appropriately to Bullerswood pupils

And Today there's been an alert issued by Raglan - it was this that made me decide to share the alerts on my blog, and also the reason why I'm sat here feeling worried about the safety of Bromley children.

"Raglan Primary School : SAFETY OF RAGLAN CHILDREN


Dear Parents/Carers, 

We have just been alerted that there have been reports of several attempted child abductions, in the Bromley area. These have happened today in particular at Braeside Prep School, Sainsbury's in Bromley, and Nurseries near Scotts Park School. 

The reported attempted abductions are being carried out by a group of women and not just a single person. 

Please be extra vigilant and if you see anything suspicious inform the police straight away. 

Please keep your child/ren with you at all times, when you drop off/collect children to and from school. 

Thank you for your understanding in this matter. 

School Office"

Also today - Children at Parish primary had a letter about the attempted abductions in their book bags - mentioning Scotts Par, Braeside Prep, Sainsburys and Bluewater

I wish the local police had replied to my tweet at the weekend as I'd rather have confirmation that there's reason to worry but if we are seeing alerts from several local schools then it would be fair to think that something genuine has happened, schools wouldn't be issuing such warnings over rumours or misunderstood situations!

I always hate it when people say "remain vigilant" to parents, I think it's the least thing we need reminding of when it comes to our children! 

I'm hoping we will see some community police around our local schools for reassurance but otherwise, if you can, walk in groups, look out for each other and report anything even remotely suspicious to the police. 

Thank you to the mums who have shared their school alerts with me.

Have you had any alerts issued that I haven't mentioned or did you see any of the incidents take place?

Stay Safe!

Emma in Bromley xx

Update: since I published this, there have been several other parents sharing their alerts:

Update 2 - 16th October 2014
One local school issued a parent alert stating that the original sainsburys on Saturday incident posted on Facebook wasn't true
Parent Alert Re Bromley Child Abduction

And Raglan have issued a message saying all of yesterday's reports were false too.

Dear Parents/Carers 

Re London Borough of Bromley Security Alert sent out yesterday. 

All schools have received a statement from the police this morning regarding yesterday's attempted child abductions. The police have carried out a full investigation and concluded that no abduction attempts were made. 

I apologise for any concern caused through yesterday's communication following the Borough's Security Alert and would like to pass on the police reassurance that the information given was not true. Our intention was not to cause alarm but to raise awareness so that you could be extra vigilant. 

C. Burgess 
Senior Leader/School's Safeguarding Off

I'm relieved that this wasn't a real situation but I'm shocked that sooo many schools issued false reports and the panic caused to many many local parents could have been prevented. When it's one facebook message there's a 50/50 chance of it being true or false but when many local schools start issuing parent alerts claiming that several incidents of child abduction attempts have been reported - then it comes from a voice of authority and is seen as truth. 
Why did so many schools send out false reports? why didn't any say they hadn't been confirmed by local police? 

I'm not entirely sure what the point of this whole spectacle has been or why someone would make up sooo many false reports of child abduction attempts, just glad that no child has been taken. 

1 comment:

Thank you for your comments

Emma x