Police said they are increasing their “visible presence” in Bromley after a series of reports emerged alleging the attempted abduction of children in recent days.
The most recent incident happened at The Glades shopping centre in Bromley on Friday (May 7), when two men were said to have been walking behind a small girl, with one seemingly going to grab her hand – which was raised in the air – before walking off.
As reported by News Shopper previously, other incidents of a similar nature were reported on Friday, April 30, and Thursday, May 6.
Two happened on April 30, when an 11-year-old boy was approached by a man in a black van who asked him if he wanted a lift, while an eight-year-old boy was reportedly approached in the wooded area of Kelsey Park.
It emerged that Line of Duty Actor Sherise Blackman’s son was the 11-year-old boy reportedly targeted in that attempt after she posted about the incident on social media in a warning to other parents.
Several days later, on May 6, a boy reported staff at his school that he had been followed in the street by a man the previous day.
Police said that they did not believe the reports from April 30, May 6 and May 7 were linked.
Nevertheless they said they had increased their “visible presence” in Bromley in response after previously acknowledging that their initial reaction had not been sufficient.
Superintendent Andy Brittain, of the Met’s South Area Command said: “When we are made aware of potential incidents of this kind, we investigate them thoroughly.
“I am aware of varying reports online both in the news and on social media and I fully understand the concerns of parents in light of these reports.
“I would encourage the public to remain vigilant, but not to be unduly alarmed. Child kidnappings or abductions are, thankfully, incredibly rare, but we are not complacent.
“In order to provide reassurance to the community we have heightened our visible presence in areas where youngsters may gather and I urge anyone who feels worried or concerned to approach my officers.
“In addition, please be assured that if we have reason to believe that there is a specific danger we will make sure that our communities are fully aware immediately.
“I would strongly encourage members of the public to approach our officers if they have any concerns or have any information that could prove to be beneficial to our investigations.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Tweet @MetCC. In an emergency always dial 999.
To remain 100 per cent anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers_uk.org.
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