Police Launch Website Aimed At Alleviating Abduction Fears

"Well intended but factually incorrect communications" heightening concerns within the community

Following widespread rumours of child abductions in the area, local Police have launched a new website to provide a focal point of all factual updates and reduce fear generated by well intended but factually incorrect communications.

The website will be updated with any new and relevant information as and when it becomes available by Police and other relevant agencies.

Factual update:

• There was an alleged attempted abduction in the Barnes Area of an 8 year old boy on 3rd July. The boy was playing in the grounds of the Vicarage with friends. The allegation is that the boy was picked up by an adult male who he (the boy) managed to kick approximately 20 times in the shin. The suspect then made off. The suspect has not been seen by any other witness other than the victim.

• This is being investigated by Police (D.I. Jon Freeman). Police are keeping an open mind about this allegation and conducting a thorough investigation to establish the facts. We have already taken all witness statements, conducted house to house enquiries, viewed CCTV and submitted items for forensic examination.

• Police would request any additional witnesses, not yet spoken to, to come forward and contact D.C. James on 020 8247 7032 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

• Additional patrols in the immediate vicinity were undertaken by the Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

• This is the only alleged abduction currently being investigated by Richmond Police. No other allegations have been made to Police.

• Well intended but factually inaccurate communications are being distributed indicating multiple child abductions in the Borough of Richmond. This is causing understandable fear of crime and anxiety.

• This incorrect information is being duplicated on social networks, text and internet sites heightening the fear amongst the community, especially those with children.

• This is a difficult time for the victim’s family and speculation involving false information may cause them distress.

• There was an incident in Murray Park on Saturday, 16th July. All parties involved were spoken to by Police. The investigation is completed and concluded this was a misunderstanding and not a crime. This is categorically not linked to the original incident in Barnes.

• The aim of this factual update is to address concerns, rumour and inaccuracy currently being communicated. This will be updated if there are significant developments.


July 19, 2011