Majority of abduction reports unfounded

By Gemma Burns

Police have reassured the North Belfast public that the majority of reports of attempted child abductions in the area this week have proven to be unfounded.

A PSNI spokesman was speaking to the North Belfast News after a number of reports of abductions outside local schools have been reported to the paper and on social networking sites.

Last week the NBN revealed more than 30 reports of attempted abductions had been made in the space of one week. The spokesman said that the “overwhelming majority” have been proven to be innocent and has called on parents not to panic.

He added police are putting on extra patrols in the area to reassure parents.

The reports come after the attempted abduction of a child in the Shankill area on Wednesday September 28. Angry parents living in the area protested outside Tennent Street Police Station on Tuesday October 4 saying the police weren’t taking enough action on the report.

Since then the internet has been buzzing with parents posting details of abduction attempts outside local schools.

The PSNI spokesman said they are responding to all reports of suspicious activity, however parents must not panic.

“Many reports of vehicles acting suspiciously have been received by police in recent week,” he said,

“Police are absolutely satisfied that these reports have been made out of genuine concern for young people however police would like to reassure the public that the overwhelming majority of reports have proven to be innocent and unfounded.

“We are still investigating a number of these incidents and take all reports of suspicious activity seriously and have committed many extra patrols to help reassure the public.”

He added that anyone in the area who notices anything suspicious to report it to police.

“We would continue to ask anyone who notices anything suspicious to contact police in the first instance, as soon as possible after an incident, in order to pass on all relevant details to ensure a thorough investigation can be carried out.

“The number to call is 0845 600 8000 and ask to speak to your nearest police station.”

 

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