Bricket Wood schoolgirl’s terror at abduction threat
A MOTHER is urging children and parents to be vigilant after her daughter narrowly escaped potential abduction while walking to school.
The 13 year old was repeatedly pestered as she made her way along Ashridge Drive in Bricket Wood towards St Michael’s Catholic School in Garston by a man who appeared to be out jogging.
He asked her name and what school she went to before requesting her mobile number. The polite teen told her mother she’d initially answered his questions, assuming he was new to the area, but was alarmed when he asked for her mobile number and told him she didn’t have one.
Her mum described how the girl walked off and the man disappeared only to reappear at the end of Ashridge Drive to present the teenager with a rose and offer her a lift to school.
She said: “She was very frightened and told him she preferred to walk but he asked her a few times to let him take her there. He even told her that because he knew what school she went to, he’d look out for her once she finished.
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“She called me after this and told me she was scared. I picked her up from outside the Black Boy pub and he jogged past us – it was very intimidating.”
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The girl’s school immediately reported the incident to the police and sent out letters advising pupils to be careful.
Her mother says they would not normally seek publicity but a second incident occurred just two weeks ago when the same man drove past the girl as she made her way home from school. He waved at her and began to slow down his car but the girl ran to join some boys who were also making their way home from school.
She went on: “My daughter was very concerned that this man would see where she lived. We’re quiet people and wouldn’t normally make such a big thing of this but it’s happened twice now and I want to warn other parents about the situation so that they can protect their children. It’s very important to me.”
Assistant Headteacher at St Michael’s, John Pope, said: “Child safety is our first priority. Our advice includes telling the students to act safely and to be vigilant without being anxious. They are told to report everything and tell a responsible adult, parents, teacher and the police directly.”
Mr Pope said the school was working closely with the police and added that pupils had been told to avoid walking home alone where possible and agree routes home with parents as well as their expected time of arrival.
A spokesperson for Herts Police said the incident was being treated as suspicious although no offences had been committed as the man had only spoken to the girl and there hadn’t been any inappropriate suggestions made.
The police say that if anyone else is aware of a similar incident to contact them on the non-emergency number 0845 3300 222