Attempted snatch of school girl by old man in Finsbury sparks borough-wide alert
15:53 23 July 2014
Parents are on high alert after a young girl was grabbed by a stranger on her way to school.
The youngster was walking along Old Street, Finsbury, on Monday at about 8am when an old man started following her.
He is thought to have tried to grab her, when a woman passing by stepped in and scared him off.
The girl told teachers when she got to Prior Weston Junior School, in nearby Whitecross Street.
They phoned the police and contacted other schools in the area to let them know.
Many then sent letters home to parents.
One mum who received a letter said: “It’s distressing to hear there are crazy monsters like this on the loose, going around grabbing children in broad daylight in front of other parents.
“I always drop my daughter off inside school and make sure she is picked up inside too, but some children are more vulnerable as they make their own way home.
“Really the police need to track this lunatic down, before he’s able to attack again, next time the child might not make such a lucky escape.”
No one from the school was available for comment, but a spokesman from Islington Council said: “The safety of children and young people is the top priority for our schools.
“Incidents like this are extremely rare, and the school followed the correct procedures to ensure the safety of the children.”
Police confirmed that they are investigating the pursuit, which stretched along Old Street, Bunhill Row, Dufferin Street and Fortune Park.
The suspect is a light-skinned, black male, aged about 65.
Safer Neighbourhoods teams have stepped up patrols.
Anyone who sees any suspicious behaviour is asked to call 999 immediately.