Child abduction scare in Hawthorn Drive prompts fresh advice at Oaks Community Primary School

The Oaks Community Primary School in Ipswich.

The Oaks Community Primary School in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

An apparent child abduction attempt in Ipswich has prompted a primary school to renew its ‘stranger danger’ advice to pupils today.

Students at The Oaks Community Primary School in Aster Road will be given fresh guidance about what action to take when confronted by strangers.

An eight-year-old boy kicked himself free and ran off after a stranger tried to pick him up in nearby Hawthorn Drive on Saturday morning.

Police are stepping up patrols as a result of the incident.

A statement given to this newspaper by joint-headteachers Jeremy Pentreath and Philip Palmer at The Oaks Community Primary School read: “We’re fully aware of Saturday’s incident and as is usual practice at the school, we will be talking to the children this afternoon about ‘Stranger Danger’ and the need to stay safe.

“The safety of the children is our greatest concern and we will give this serious matter the attention it deserves.”

Police revealed yesterday how the eight-year-old boy was walking back from the shops in Hawthorn Drive on Saturday morning when a man the boy did not know, who was using a bottle bank near Coral bookmakers, said “hello” to the boy.

The boy crossed the road and the man followed. He was walking alongside him by the time they reached the Methodist church.

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The man then tried to pick the boy up at the Kingfisher Avenue and Pheasant Road junction, but he kicked himself free and ran off.

The incident took place between 10.45am and 11am.

Police have pledged to step up patrols in the area in the foreseeable future and contact local schools.

The man has not been found. He is described as white, 5ft 7ins tall, and in his mid 30s with an English accent. He was wearing dark clothing and carrying a black rucksack with an orange stripe.

To help police, call 101, quoting crime number 37/12258/17.