Parents worried over school abduction rumours

IPSWICH: Concerned parents of primary school children across Ipswich have today demanded police officers provide information about rumours circulating the town of more attempted abductions.

Since police issued warnings to every headteacher in Ipswich last week rumours have been rife, with parents unsure what to believe.

The Evening Star has been inundated with messages from worried parents looking for answers.

But police have sprung into action and say they want to hear from people if they have any incidents to report and will investigate immediately.

In one incident, an 11-year-old girl was walking home from Castle Hill Junior School at around 3.20pm last Monday, when she was approached by a man in Congreve Road who grabbed her arm.

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The girl tried to pull away and the man let go, before getting into a black car and driving away.

Following a similar incident outside another school last Tuesday, police decided to make youngsters aware of the situation, stepping up patrols outside schools and urging headteachers to step up staff presence at home-time.

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But since the news broke of the two confirmed incidents, text messages and alerts on social networking site Facebook have caused confusion.

Speaking to three mothers, who all have children aged 10 at Castle Hill Junior School, but who asked not to be named, said the last week had been “very scary.” Since they heard the news they have stopped their children going out on their own to meet friends.

The rumours circulating include reports of further attempted abductions at Whitton Primary School, Dale Hall Community Primary School, and Springfield Junior School.

Ruth Hart, headteacher at Castle Hill Junior School said the community is “very concerned.”

She said: “The safety of children is paramount, we are working closely with parents and me and my staff are out on the pavements in the mornings and afternoons.”

And the Rev Andrew Dotchin added: “There is anxiety in many of the schools in the pyramid. Staff are asking parents to be aware of anyone behaving suspiciously around children in public.

“It is important to remind children not to approach any strangers and if anyone sees anyone acting provocatively perhaps it would be wise to get a registration number and alert the police or a responsible adult.

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