Schools on alert after bid to kidnap boy, 12, in Westbury
1:33pm Friday 18th July 2014 in By Richard McAllister
Schools have been put on alert after two men attempted to kidnap a 12-year-old boy at Westbury rail station on Sunday afternoon.
The men were in a white van when they approached the Matravers School pupil, who ran away.
Det Chief Insp Ian Miller, of British Transport Police, said: “I can confirm that we are investigating a report that a boy was approached by two men in a van at Westbury rail station at 4.37pm.
“Understandably, the boy was very shaken by what happened, but he was not hurt or injured.
“It is believed a van was parked on Station Approach, just outside the station. When the boy walked past, an attempt was made to get him into the van.”
The vehicle was a white Transit van and one of the suspects is described as 6ft tall, and wearing a grey hooded top and builders-type clothing.
Police are viewing CCTV footage from in and around the station and have sent letters to schools in the area alerting them to the incident.
Simon Riding, headteacher of Matravers School, said: “We are also supporting the individual concerned, and are making sure they are safe, and feel safe, and are supported all the way through.
“We have alerted the students to the information sent round by the British Transport Police and we have also alerted parents to that information.
“We have put all our staff internally on alert and are asking for increased vigilance both on the site and at the roads around the school.”
Debbie Grimsey, headteacher of Westbury Leigh Primary School, said: “We have sent out an important message in assemblies about keeping safe and sent out a letter to warn parents.”
David Ross, headteacher of Bitham Park Primary School, said: “We received the warning from the council and it has been forwarded to teachers who will given an age-appropriate message to pupils.
"It will also go out as an item in our newsletter to parents about how to keep safe over the holidays.”
In a statement Wiltshire Council said: “We have a process to alert all schools and we did so immediately after being advised of the incident.”
Det Chief Insp Miller said: “We are doing everything in our power to identify those involved. I would also advise parents to be vigilant and to ensure their children are fully aware of ‘stranger danger’.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 405040.