Police move to reassure worried Wirral parents after reports of child abduction attempts
POLICE have reassured parents they are treating child protection as a “priority” following a series of reported attempted abductions.
Officers say they are looking into how certain reports have been handled and have stepped up police patrols around schools.
It follows a Wirral dad demanding that the police must do more to respond to recent events which, he fears, could have resulted in a child being snatched.
Stuart, from West Kirby, - his full name is known to the Globe but we've agreed not to publish it to protect the family - believed the force was “playing down” the seriousness of the incidents – one of which involved his 11-year-old son.
His son, who did not wish to be named, was walking back to his grandmother’s house after school when he was approached by a stranger.
The man parked his car across the road from him and said that he had been sent to collect him and take him home on Friday, January 13.
Luckily, the youngster ran away and hid in some nearby bushes until the car drove off.
Stuart claims it took police officers almost two hours to arrive and they spent just 15 minutes with his son and grandmother.
The dad-of-three was then shocked to find Merseyside Police had issued a letter to parents dismissing some of the incidents as “rumours.”
In the letter, which was circulated around local primary schools, Chief Inspector Phil Davies reassures people that apart from two instances of indecent exposure, there have been no confirmed reports of attempted abduction.
Stuart said: “My son was really shaken up after the incident and was still having nightmares about it days later.
"I am very annoyed with the way it has been treated as we have not heard a thing from the officers since that night “The letter that was sent home to parents does not even mention West Kirby and focuses on the Birkenhead area so I am worried that people in other areas of Wirral will think they don’t need to worry about it.
"The fact that a child has gone to an adult and said that something of this nature has happened, should be enough proof that it has happened.
“But it is as though they haven’t believed my son and are not taking it seriously at all.”
Now Superintendent Jon Roy of Wirral Command team has promised that the incident is being taken “very seriously” and action is being taken.
He added that officers have liaised with the boy’s school and are in contact with the family.
Mr Roy said: “The protection and well-being of children is a priority and I would like to reassure residents and in particular parents in our area, any information received about such incidents is reviewed on a daily basis by specialist officers.
“In light of this incident and subsequent letter, we are looking at how this specific report has been handled.
"Officers have been in contact with the school and spoken with staff.
“Last night a Detective Inspector spoke with the family of the boy who made this report to reassure them that the incident was being taken seriously and being acted upon.
"A log number and contact numbers for officers dealing with the case have also been provided to the family.
“Our priorities are ensuring that our communities remain safe.”
If you have any information at all about this or other similar incidents call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. THE GLOBE