Village incident was not snatch attempt

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A POLICE investigation has concluded that an incident involving a primary school pupil in Denholm last week was not an attempted child abduction.

The alarm was raised by the multi-agency Child Protection Unit, based in Galashiels, in an email to all headteachers on Thursday afternoon.

The message from Rosemary Robertson, a child protection officer with Scottish Borders Council’s education department, was marked as a “serious alert” and of high importance.

“We have had a potential incident at Denholm primary school which is currently being investigated,” wrote Ms Robertson.

“A car slowed down and tried to pick up a P7 girl at lunchtime today, but thankfully the child ran off to safety. It is thought that the car is either silver or white and that it contained up to three males. Please be extra vigilant.”

But yesterday, a police spokesperson confirmed the incident had been investigated and that no further action was required.

“Officers were on the scene within 15 minutes of the pupil reporting the matter to her teacher,” said the spokesperson.

“A search for the car by police patrols was unsuccessful, but we were able to establish that at no time did the vehicle stop. Apparently the three young men in the car had been larking around and shouted something at the girl. This had alarmed her and she rightly reported the matter to her teacher, thus triggering the alert, which is what the multi-agency approach to child protection is all about.

“However, we established that the vehicle did not stop and no attempt was made, either verbally or physically, to grab or entice her into the car.”

Glenn Rodger, director of education, said: “Our first priority is to keep our children safe. We are urging our staff to be extra vigilant in light of last week’s incident.”