Kingston schools child abduction fears put parents and police on alert

12:35 26 May 2012

Police and the council have moved to reassure residents after three reported incidents at schools in Kingston-upon-Thames borough recently, including one believed to be an attempted abduction.

The Met says one report concerned an incident on May 17 in the grounds of Grand Avenue Primary School in Surbiton.

It was reported a man and woman walked up to a schoolgirl at a water fountain and attempted to engage her in conversation.

A police spokesman said: “The investigation into this allegation is continuing. No allegations which amount to criminal behaviour have been disclosed.”

Meanwhile, police want to hear from anyone who may have seen or comforted a child in distress at Knollmead Primary School on May 21 at about 9.10am.

Police say there have been extensive inquiries but no offences have come to light.

There were reports of a man in his 20s approaching a boy and grabbing hold of him, before the boy struggled free and ran away.

Finally, also on May 21, it was reported a man on a push bike was acting suspiciously in a car park close to Green Lane Primary School in Worcester Park.

The Met spokesman said: “We are now satisfied that no criminal offences were committed.”

Chief Superintendent Martin Greenslade, borough commander for Kingston, said: “I understand and share the community’s deep concern and would also like to use this as a further opportunity to reassure parents that we have treated the incidents extremely seriously and have investigated them robustly.

“A policing plan was put in place and we instigated extra patrols in the borough and maintained an increased visible presence outside local schools.

“I would like to report that the investigation has led to the conclusion that these incidents are not linked as previously thought.

“I would like to thank the community, especially parents and the schools who have fully supported our investigations and the increased police presence. I would also like to thank everyone who has provided information which has been appreciated and of assistance.”

Councillor Patricia Bamford said: “I am very pleased to learn that there is no evidence of any connection between these three incidents.

“I am grateful to Kingston police for their thorough and professional investigations into each of these reports.

“The police were quick to provide visible support and reassurance around our schools and have worked closely with schools, the local authority and the wider community to assess the evidence available.

“It is understandable that during the course of these investigations that level of concern and anxiety amongst parents and school communities has risen. I hope that this latest statement will allay those fears and that parents will understand the absolutely need for caution when investigating incidents involving children or other vulnerable groups.

“Whilst this has been a worrying time for parents it is also a timely reminder to us all against complacency when it comes to the safeguarding of children.”

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 15:01
The Back to the Future preview of Secret Cinema has been cancelled

Secret Cinema have cancelled their Back to the Future events until July 31.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:49
The two parts of the chair were inspired by the curves of an anonymous male model [Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker][Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker]

A London designer has created a unique chair designed to look, feel and smell like human skin.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:50
Planned engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more