Police have launched a hunt for an attempted kidnapper who told a 12-year-old boy to ‘get in the van’ as he walked home from school.
Sarah Adams said her son Alfie has been suffering from anxiety since the terrifying incident near The Beacon School in Banstead, Surrey.
The mother said the incident happened on October 11 but her son had only just told her about it and she is now warning parents to be vigilant.
Alfie was walking on his own down Beacon Way, Banstead, when he was approached by a man in a black van with pink writing on its side. He ran from the scene and was not harmed.
Sarah Adams, right, has issued a warning to parents in Banstead, Surrey, after her 12-year-old son Alfie, left, said a man attempted to kidnap him and ordered him to get in a van
Surrey Police have confirmed they are investigating and while there are not believed to have been any further reports since last month, Miss Adams wants to warn others.
The 31-year-old said: ‘When I found out I felt so angry, I had this feeling I think most mums get when they feel their child has been in some way attacked. I just wanted to go and find the man, it’s just so wrong.
‘You never expect it to happen to your own child and fortunately nothing happened as he remembered what I told him, and just ran away, bless him.’
Alfie’s mother said he usually walks home with a group of friends and it usually takes 15 minutes, but on that day he was walking home with just one friend who lives nearer to the school.
Miss Adams said the van driver wound down his window and asked if the school boy wanted a lift. When he replied ‘no thank you’, it is alleged that the man told him to ‘just get in the van’.
Alfie, pictured, said a man in a black van with pink writing on approached him as he walked home from school and he ran away from him
The mother-of-five added: ‘Alfie told me he just ran and kept running until he got home, and that the van turned around and quickly sped off in the other direction.
‘I feel so guilty as I could have picked him up but he likes walking home and I was picking up my other children from Warren Mead, but I could have been there in five or ten minutes.
‘Since then Alfie has been a lot more anxious and has asked me to pick him up more often. When he was younger he suffered with anxiety but he is a confident and polite boy but I feel he has suffered from anxiety again.’
Alfie described the man as white, with blonde hair and wearing a vest and jeans at the time.
Miss Adams said the first she knew of the incident was when Alfie asked her ‘if he could get picked up in case that van was there’.
She added: ‘I didn’t have a go at him but I was surprised he didn’t tell me, but he said that he knew I had a lot on and didn’t want to worry me. It left me heartbroken when he told me; I was just shocked.’
Miss Adams subsequently reported it to The Beacon School and teacher and ex-police officer Ollie Thomas spoke to Alfie and reported it to the police.
The Beacon School head teacher Keith Batchelor said: ‘Staff have regular and on-going safeguarding training and Mr Thomas’ enhanced training meant that he was alert to this incident and was also able to follow our school procedures.
‘As attendance officer, Mr Thomas is often at the front of school to welcome students into school and say goodbye at the end of the day. Therefore, he was in a good position to take on this situation.
Staff at The Beacon School, pictured, said staff were alerted to the situation and told the family to contact police
‘Parents should always be vigilant but it is also important that young people have the awareness and ability to manage potential dangers that exist albeit as rare as they are.
‘The school will continue to train staff to be able to effectively deal with any safeguarding situations. For families it is important to maintain good communication so that they can have open conversations about staying safe.’
A Surrey Police spokeswoman said: ‘At around 3.35pm a Year 7 pupil was walking home from school when he was approached by a man in a black van. The van is reported to have noticeable pink writing on the sides.’
Officers urge anybody with any information or anybody who witnessed a suspicious black van in the area around the time of the incident to call 101 quoting reference 45170129938.