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To think there are probably more attempted abductions of kids than we think?

95 replies

GoldRhino · 04/05/2021 21:36

My aim in this thread is to spread awareness- apologies if it annoys anyone.

In the last few years we have had at least 4 attempted abductions of kids from local schools (‘naice area’). Our school sent out alerts to let everyone know. There were various men in vans attempting to grab kids and two children that we know well narrowly escaped being dragged into a car just around the corner from our house last year and were really traumatised.

Then earlier today I saw the headline about the Line of Duty actresses’ son who nearly got abducted yesterday in Beckenham. He was 11 and walking home from school.

All of these events have made me very concerned about letting my kids walk home alone.

I’m also wondering why these attempted abductions don’t get more press attention so that others are more aware.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

ludothedog · 04/05/2021 21:44

Bad things happen. It doesn't mean that we should live our lives on fear. All sensible precautions taken by DD and I. She will still be allowed home and to go to the park. I refuse hide or to do anything "just in case".


BelleBlueBell · 04/05/2021 21:52

The recent case in London is obviously very concerning but in general I think true random abduction attempts on children are pretty rare.

During my DCs time at school there have been a few occasions of warnings about possible approaches to children but they have subsequently turned out to be genuine misinterpretations of innocent situations.


Scratchpostkitty · 04/05/2021 22:01

I think you're probably right. We're always told child abduction is incredibly rare, but there seem to be a lot of attempted abductions. I know of a few locally to me and we're in a small town.


OhWhyNot · 04/05/2021 22:17

It is rare thankfully

I try not to think about it

Beckenham is a nice area it can happen anywhere


Echobelly · 04/05/2021 22:20

As far as I can tell they are staggeringly rare, it's not something I worry about at all, as other risks are much more likely.

I do have a suspicion (not saying this is the case with you OP) that in some cases 'attempted abductions' that people 'hear about' from a friend or neighbour are wild exaggerations of something totally innocuous.


KrisAkabusi · 04/05/2021 22:20

I think the opposite. There have been loads of warnings in our area over the last two years, none of which turned out to be true. As somebody said above, there were innocent explanations, misread situations, or just hoaxes. Yes, teach your kids to be careful, but don't teach them to be scared of events that are actually incredibly rare.


tinkerbellla · 04/05/2021 22:43

A lady tried to get my friend's 5 year old DD to go with her in a park a few weeks ago. The child actually did start to follow her but obviously my friend ran and grabbed her. It makes me feel sick. That's the only case I've heard of but still worrying.


BittyBatHats · 04/05/2021 22:53

More worrying is the police response to the attempted abduction in Beckenham. WTF went on there?


Postern · 04/05/2021 22:55


I think the opposite. There have been loads of warnings in our area over the last two years, none of which turned out to be true. As somebody said above, there were innocent explanations, misread situations, or just hoaxes. Yes, teach your kids to be careful, but don't teach them to be scared of events that are actually incredibly rare.

I agree. Social media just fuels ill-founded hysteria.

getyourfreakon · 04/05/2021 23:09

We had one very recently, just down the road. Local police force posted on social media that they'd arrested the man.
The amount of burglaries, car thefts, assaults and anti social behaviour aren't being dealt with. It's going to hell round here.


GoldRhino · 05/05/2021 07:06

All of the attempts round here were genuine because the police sent warnings around the schools and we know the two kids who had to fight off the man in a car.

OP posts:

GoldRhino · 05/05/2021 07:07

@BittyBatHats yes why on Earth they gave up is beyond me. Must be cctv of that incident somewhere?!

OP posts:

OverTheRubicon · 05/05/2021 07:13

I completely disagree. When a child abduction is 'successful' (that feels like the wrong word), it gets massive publicity. However we also hear constantly of attempted abductions on local Facebook and Nextdoor groups, where grown men are apparently outrun or outfought by a young child. Speaking as someone who has been abused and done martial arts, even a strong adult women generally struggles to escape the grapple of an adult man.

I absolutely believe there are a ton of pervs, flashers, creepy teachers, abusive family members and more out there. However these constant reported abduction attempts are very dangerous if (as I suspect) many are made up by children or adults, because they make parents limit children's freedom and also blind us to the far higher risks closer to home.


Lemonelderflower · 05/05/2021 07:14

I think so, yes, and probably even more common in the past.


newnortherner111 · 05/05/2021 07:17

Probably a lot more than we ever get to hear about, because local news and indeed the number of stories on national news programmes seems to have become fewer, not just in the pandemic. Local newspapers are almost becoming a thing of the past, and in London if wfh continues I am sure readership of the London Evening Standard will remain low.

As for the police response, perhaps if numbers in the Met had not been reduced and neighbourhood policing especially a lot less than in the noughties, more men who attempt this would either not try or would be caught.


Feedex · 05/05/2021 07:22

The police have to put out a warning, but no, I don’t believe that all these men in vans are trying to snatch children. The London incident was different, and there’s maybe something to it, his mum is an actress in the most watched tv show in a long time though. Might have been to do either that?
I think SM, misread situations, and attn seeking parents have a lot to do with all these attempted ‘abductions’.
Kids are being abused though, on a terrible
Scale, by fathers, brothers, friends of family, adults in positions of trust like coaches all the time though.


romdowa · 05/05/2021 07:23

As children we had two near abductions in our estate, I stopped one, I was older than the two girls and came around a corner to a strange woman offering the two kids sweets to get in the car and the other one was a couple offering my brother and his friend money to get in the car and they also took pictures of them. Thankfully my brothers friend starting screaming and they drove off. The police found the couple in another estate and their camera was taken , the woman was never found. So I definitely think it's something that happens more than we hear


lightand · 05/05/2021 07:24

I live rurally and I used to let the kids go on their bikes all over the place within a 5 mile radius, after they were aged about 10, occasionally with friends. Nothing ever happened.
One day however, I decided to go and meet them about 3 miles away. I was shocked. I had naively thought they would be ok because there was always at least 2 of them on their bikes together. Plus thought, wrongly, that there were just enough cars around to "keep them safe". But there wasnt. I realised that they could have got abducted quite easily and no one would probably have seen anything at all.
After that, if they wanted to go off, I used to follow in the car at a distance.


Lemonelderflower · 05/05/2021 07:26

I don’t think it’s to do with reduced police numbers (not that that is a good thing of course.)

It’s a crime of opportunity largely. Reducing the opportunity reduces the crime.


lemonsyellow · 05/05/2021 07:27

I disagree. I think they are very rare.


3scape · 05/05/2021 07:28

I think YABU. I was once the subject of an attempted abduction, I wasn't given any secret tips to repell determined aggressors. But what can you teach? other than teaching children to be sensible enough not to willingly get into vehicles with strangers. To keep back on the pavement and maybe these days to get the phone out to help with any "question". These incidents are still vanishingly rare, children are still more likely to run away or be taken by family members. I think it's possible to give children too much anxiety.


SushiGo · 05/05/2021 07:29


All of the attempts round here were genuine because the police sent warnings around the schools and we know the two kids who had to fight off the man in a car.

The police sending a warning doesn't mean its true. It means, at the point they sent the warning, they thought it might be true.

There are very regular cases where these warnings turn out to be based on false stories. There was one recently in the press where an influencer claimed a couple were trying to kidnap her child in a supermarket but it turned out she was just a massive racist.

lovelyupnorth · 05/05/2021 07:30

OP - The biggest danger to your kids is you and your family/friends.

Most of the abuse of kids happens in the home or by people known to them the risk of stranger abductions is so mathematically unlikely to be not worth calculating.


megletthesecond · 05/05/2021 07:30

There was one in our town that I assumed was hysteria and facebook nonsense. It seems I was wrong and a bloke is awaiting trial for attempting to kidnap a toddler. Really odd, broad daylight in a busy park.


Cheekyweegobshite · 05/05/2021 07:32

We had a couple of attempted abductions a few years ago. The police and school put warnings on social media but it was eventually revealed that the kids had made it up.

We know that successful abductions by a stranger are very rare, so unless abductors are generally incompetent I think it's reasonable to assume that attempted ones are also pretty rare.

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