Calling the police but are we doing the right thing.(189 Posts)
Firstly this isn’t a “I think something bad has happened but I’ll ask MN first before we act”. We have tried to get through to the correct police 3 times now but they have us on hold for so long it keeps cutting us off so we are going to try again later in the hope that it’s a little less busy.
My DD (12) was out playing earlier with her DD (10) and DF.
We live is quite a quiet village (think only a post office/local shop and cattle grids) however there are a mixture of newer and older small estates.
The girls were playing with a toy which had landed up in a back garden just out of our estate and my DD being the eldest had politely (according to her) gone to the door go ask for it back. The other two girls has stayed, not intentionally, round the corner, and therefore out of sight.
My DD has rung the bell and it had in her words been opened by an elderly gentleman (we have pushed this and she had said ages with my DF, who is only mid 60’s)
There is access to the back garden via the side of the house but man had asked my DD to step inside, my DD has now said she felt uncomfortable doing so however, I think didn’t feel too uncomfortable being only a few ft from home (we can see the house from our bedroom window) and has gone inside. Obviously this is something we now need to talk about, and I am quite disappointed at age 12 she thought this was an ok thing to do.
The man had then reached behind he’d and locked the door and asked her to step into the living room as he was watching something on TV and didn’t want to miss it.
DD can’t remember at this point if man had said the program he was watching had pretty in the title or he had said she was pretty but she is sure she heard that word.
DD’s instincts I think kicked in at that point as she made the sensible move to mention her parents were outside and she should probably make sure they knew where she was. The man seemed a little taken aback, agreed, unlocked the door as DD ran back to the other 2.
The man had then (I think) must have seen my eldest DD from another window and whistled her back and again seemed taken aback that she was with friends but invited all 3 girls back into the back garden to find the toy. At this point both my DD’s agree that man acted weird. “Oh it’s only your friends your with” and a lot of watching/smiling etc. Both girls have now commented he acted in an odd enough way to make them feel uneasy.
Writing it down, I can’t believe I’m 2nd guessing myself, and we adefinitely are going to get incontact with the police but I guess I would just like someone to reassure me we are doing the right thing.
Of course you are. It sounds weird and locking the door is so odd I’m so glad she had the quick sense to say her parents outside . I don’t like the sound of him at all and you can always explain to the police that it just seemed odd
I would guess the police won't do anything as no crime is suspected of having been committed. The man might just be eccentric and the girls picked up on his odd mannerisms. I guess there's no harm in logging it though. Obviously I would make sure that the girls know to go in anyone's house again and to avoid this man if he makes you all uncomfortable.
Obviously meant to write NOT go in anyone's house.
Yes - there is no reason for him to invite her inside and lock the door so I would call the police for advice. Yes your daughter made a mistake but at the same time - please praise her for her quick thinking about her parents being outside - please praise her a lot so to encourage her to always think of a solution if she finds herself in an uncomfortable situation.
Definitely the right thing.
I'm glad she got out without anything more sinister happening.
I wonder if he's one of these paedos that get rehoused but no one's allowed to know where?
Definitely report it, he might already be on the register
Hmm, tricky one. He hasn't committed a crime. You will never know what might have happened. He could genuinely be a nice neighbour. Although why not just let your daughter straight through into the back garden to look for the toy? What would you have said if you had got through to the police? They won't go round based on your daughter feeling uneasy. I say lesson learned to your daughter never to go in any one's house and for her to have a stock line/reply ready in case of any further similar scenarios. Teach her that her politeness can go out the window when she feels her safety is threatened. Maybe just a log with 101 to put your mind at rest?
I agree OP, I’d contact the police even if it’s something they keep on record. Atleast it’s been logged with them! I’m really glad your daughters instincts kicked in and she’s okay!
You aren't being unreasonable to flag it but there are a lot of variables here. The man could have valid reasons for locking the door and may not even have considered this could seem dodgy from an outsiders perspective. It is of course strange that he didn't just go and get the toy but none of us could know whether that was because he was being absent-minded or had an ulterior motive.
I'd also contact the police, if only so it's on record. It may have been innocent, but it sounds pretty odd to me.
btw, how come their DF didn't go get the toy?
I'd call 101 - if you give his address and there is any cause for concern then the police will know. A friend of mine found out by chance that her neighbour is a convicted paedophile.
Personally I would also go round and give him some friendly advice that inviting children in to his house and locking them in is a bad idea - either he's completely innocent and needs this pointed out before he runs into trouble, or he had dodgy intentions but knows you're aware.
I would not be surprised if his on the watch list. If not he should be.
I actually hadn't thought that he might be on the register. If he is then it would be worth reporting. If he did have bad intentions then I guess the report would be logged and if there was a future incident the police might be more aware of him. I would bare in mind though that he might be an odd man who didn't mean any harm - I'd report just in case though.
It could well be a misunderstanding on the girls part but its IS strange to invite her in and lock the door. If you call the police than at least if he is known to them they can keep an eye on him. If not then as previous posters have said very little is likely to happen.
She could have been the decoy for a gang of thieves. So he wanted to make sure no thug barged in after her. So locked the door.
“Oh it’s only your friends your with”could have been relief at no armed raiders.
He didn't touch them or anything. Correct?
So no urgency...you could report online if you need to.
Could be something odd or could be not.
If he is on some kind of register police will know.
Re the locking of the door, my aunt and uncle just automatically lock you in, have always done this. Some elderly people are so security conscious.
Yes, there could be innocent explanations - but best to be cautious.
If he is innocent he needs to know how his behaviour looks though. Other parents might not be as forgiving.
He might not have committed a crime to that poster, but locking a child in certainly isn't okay. It's for the police to decide what's gone on, no one else.
Those trying to explain away his actions also need to explain why he tried to get her into the sitting room - further away from the front door - to watch TV rather than taking her straight through to the back garden. I'm struggling to think of an innocent explanation.
While his behaviour is alarming, there can be non sinister reasons for it. Specifically, if he has dementia, or similar, then he could be confused and act in a seemingly weird way.
Lots of people automatically lock their doors (I do as I have a child escapee!).
Mostly, I would be raising the issue of never, ever going into a strangers home with your daughters.
See if you can report it online.
We just don't know he may have had to go and get the keys to the back garden or wanted to record his TV program he might just be a weird doddery old man. I wouldn't ignore a feeling of unease - better to be safe than sorry and report it to the police. Probably nothing will come of it but if he is dodgy it might help build a picture.
My front door blows open if it's not locked when I open my back door. So visitors get 'locked in'. I don't have a criminal record! He may well have wanted to pause the programme he was watching before going not the garden to get the toy.
You live in a small village and can see this house from your window. Your DD felt uneasy enough to leave but then returned with her friends. Why would she do that?
I'm fairly certain that the majority of men living alone in their 60s are not paedophiles. However, something has made you feel uneasy. By all means speak to the police, but be prepared for them to question the girls too.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.