Stranger danger reminder after “suspicious activity”

Thursday, 23rd January 2014

Police are urging parents to reiterate ‘stranger danger’ messages to their children following reports of suspicious activity near schools in north Birmingham.

A teacher at Perry Beeches School raised concerns yesterday morning (Jan 22) after parents reported a white Transit-type van cruising the area – it followed reports in previous weeks of a driver trying to strike up conversations with passers-by in Streetly and Sutton Coldfield.

Police traced the driver a van from a reg plate noted down by a parent – and found him to be a scrap metal trader who was trawling the streets looking for metal items to recycle.

However, despite the false alarm, police are reminding parents and teachers to drive home ‘stranger danger’ messages to children.

Chief Inspector Julian Harper from West Midlands Police has said: “We treat any reports of this nature very seriously, though incidents of child abduction or attempted abduction are extremely rare.

“It’s important children are reminded about safety messages: never to get into strangers’ cars and to always report suspicious behaviour so we can investigate.

“But at the same time it should be stressed that no children have been injured, or indeed physically touched, and there is no evidence that attempts have been made to abduct children.”

Police has issued the following advice:

• Never go off on your own with a stranger, take things from them or get in a car with them.
• Make sure you tell your parents where you are.
• If someone scares you, or makes you feel uncomfortable go somewhere safe, which could be your home, your school or a police station. Remember to tell someone what has happened straight away.

If you would like to discuss any other policing matters please contact your local policing team on 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.