Northern Ireland

Police in Belfast investigating child abduction bids

Tina Wallace
Image caption Tina Wallace said she is worried for her young son's safety

Police have confirmed they are investigating a spate of child abduction attempts in east Belfast.

The PSNI have appealed for information about a series of incidents in the Euston Street, Lord Street and Clarawood Park areas.

They all involve a suspect, who has been trying to coax primary school children into a silver car.

Parents in the area have criticised the police response to the abduction bids.

Tina Wallace, wife of Ulster rugby player Paddy Wallace, said she heard about the issue on Facebook and not from the police.

She told the BBC: "Parents of children at the local schools had made posts on Facebook to make other parents aware.

"They are quite stunned by the volume of attempted abductions in the area, yet nobody has been caught.

"My son is only four. He is quite a sociable little boy, but for me when we are out I have to make him aware that he must not talk to strangers."

According to the Belfast Telegraph one of the incidents involved a nine-year-old boy, who was promised sweets if he got into the car.


Chief Inspector Yvonne Davidson, PSNI area commander for east Belfast, insisted police are taking the issue seriously and have informed a number of schools in the area about the incidents.

Image caption Chief Inspector Yvonne Davidson said the PSNI was hunting the driver of the car involved in the alleged abduction bids

But she urged parents not to panic.

She said: "Last week we had a small number of incidents involving a silver vehicle and children. We felt it was important to contact the schools that the children were connected to and alert the head teachers.

"We still are actively investigating those incidents. We also have had high visibility patrols around schools to reassure parents.

"There seems to be a bit of hysteria building in and around the incidents. There has been no abduction, abductions are extremely rare.

"Young children are saying a car has pulled up and somebody has spoken to them. They have quite rightly ran away and told their parents and they have told us.

"We would ask people to be vigilant and report anything to us."

The police are appealing for anyone with information to contact them on 0845 600 8000 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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