Abduction attempt at city school

The school gates at Woodthorpe Primary School, in Summerfield Road, York

Carol Runciman

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

POLICE were today hunting a man who tried to abduct a boy outside a York primary school after claiming to be there to take him home.

The youngster was leaving Woodthorpe Primary School, in Summerfield Road, at the end of the school day yesterday when the stranger came up to him and said he had been sent there by the boy's mother to collect him.

But when the pupil challenged the man, he ran off, and detectives were today trying to track the man down following the approach at about 3.20pm yesterday.

It follows another kidnap alert last month when hundreds of parents were sent a warning letter by teachers after a hooded man attempted to abduct two children near another York school.

The man who spoke to the boy at Woodthorpe Primary School yesterday was also wearing a hooded top, but police have yet to confirm whether they are linking the two abduction attempts. Detective Sergeant Guy Wilson, of York CID, said the man is in his late 20s or early 30s and, as well as the black top, was also wearing black jeans.

"We would like to ask anybody who was in the area around Woodthorpe Primary School at around 3.20pm yesterday, or anybody who saw a man who may fit this description, to contact York CID on 0845 6060247," he said.

Woodthorpe Primary School, which caters for children between the ages of three and 11, has 418 pupils on its roll.

Carol Runciman, executive member responsible for schools at City of York Council, said: "We have warned children about stranger danger' and I know that Woodthorpe Primary School, in particular, has warned their children.

"I am glad that this child responded in the appropriate way and would ask all parents to remind its children that they must not go off with people they do not know."

She added she was expecting to be fully briefed about the incident today.

Only ten days ago, The Press revealed how Hob Moor Community Primary School, in York, had written to parents and pupils asking them to beware of strangers after they were told about two Year 4 pupils from nearby Carr Junior School, in Acomb, being approached by a man wearing a hood and with a scarf pulled across his face. On that occasion, the youngsters also refused to go with the man.

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