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Parents warned not to let pupils walk to school alone after snatch bid at Redbridge
PARENTS of thousands of pupils have been warned not to let their children walk to school alone after a bid to snatch a young girl from the street.
Worried mums and dads brought streets around the 12- year-old’s secondary school to “gridlock” yesterday afternoon after receiving warnings from concerned teachers.
It came just hours after the frightened girl arrived at the school gates and reported a man in a white van had attempted to grab her as she walked through a park.
Detectives cordoned off Mansel Park between Cuckmere Lane and Studland Road to examine the scene yesterday, and went door-todoor to ask residents if they had seen anything suspicious.
They had last night also begun the painstaking process of trawling CCTV footage from the Millbrook area in a bid to find the man’s vehicle.
Bosses at Redbridge moved to quickly send out texts to alert parents of the incident and urge them to make arrangements to get their children safely home at the end of the school day.
All of Redbridge’s nearby feeder junior, infant and primary schools also sent letters home to warn parents to be vigilant.
The girl said the incident happened at 8.25am, as she walked to school, ahead of lessons starting at 8.40am.
Head teacher Jason Ashley said the school was working with parents to ensure youngsters’ safety.
He told the Daily Echo: “The parents have reacted brilliantly – I can’t speak highly enough of them.
“The school is committed to the safety and welfare of all our students and will have more people on our gates tomorrow and myself and senior leaders will walk further up and down the streets.”
One parent of a Redbridge pupil, Steve Plumridge said he had been impressed with the school’s response to the incident.
He said: “Redbridge, as always, did really well in sending texts out to all the parents and quickly alerting the children.
“Let’s hope the police catch him. We can all keep an eye out and get this individual off the streets for the sake of our children.