Wednesday, 22 May 2019
Thursday, 14 July 2016
revised 15 July

Child snatcher roams Slough streets

Police wait a month before alerting parents and community

Picture: Thames Valley Police. Report: Paul Janik

Police waited a month, after a second child snatch attempt, before alerting the public. This E-fit picture shows the man involved in the second incident.

Parents are highly critical of the police's silence about a potentially dangerous child snatcher roaming Slough streets for young boys.

After the horrific Oxford child abuse scandal, exposing astonishing police complacency and indifference, Thames Valley Police's current behaviour shows they do not realise the importance of protecting children from predators.

The first known child abduction attempt

On Tuesday 26 April 2016, outside Lynch Hill School Primary Academy, Garrard Road, Britwell, there was an attempt to lure a 10 years-old boy into a car.

On Thursday 28 April the school sent every parent an A4 letter describing the incident in these words:

Dear Parents and Carers,

We would like to inform you of a serious incident that occurred after school on Tuesday 26th April 2016.

A man stopped a pupil on their way home from school and tried to encourage him into his car. He told the pupil that his mum had made arrangements for the man to collect the pupil because she could not make it.

He was driving a black saloon car, the man is described as being a young white man with glasses and green eyes. He has a tattoo on his left arm.

Thankfully, the pupil realised that this was not a safe situation and ran home.

Please be assured that the police are investigating the incident.

Please be vigilant and talk to your children about family safety rules. Ensure that they know who is collecting them and not to get into a car/go home with a stranger.

Should you have any further information regarding this incident, please contact the police on 101 quoting URN 1002260416.

Thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely

Gillian Coffey,

Executive Head Teacher.

The URN reference, more clearly written as 1002 of 26-04-2016, shows the police were notified on 26 April, yet - as the school's letter reveals - the school was notified by the police two days latter. To the school's credit, they wasted no time altering parents.

A day later, on Friday 29 April, the other Britwell primary school, Claycots in Monksfield Way, alerted their parents by a mobile phone text message and by an A5 (half the size of an A4) letter containing the same text and signed by Associate Head Teacher Pauline Nevin.

Disappointingly Thames Valley Police failed to understand the urgency and importance of alerting parents and carers to the serious danger but also the whole community ensuring a black car loitering by young children would instantly attract the public's attention.

Thames Valley Police did not bother to issue a press release which would be instantly seen by every newspaper in the Thames Valley, three BBC regional stations, many journalists, observant members of the public and, in a private and personal capacity, serving police officers living in the Slough area.

Regretfully aspirations of Community Safety appeared forgotten.

The Slough Times has been told the boy is continuing to receive counselling about his narrow escape from grave danger.

The second known child abduction attempt

On Thursday 14 July 2016, at 17:10 hours, Thames Valley Police issued a press release containing an image (see picture above) of a man said to been involved in an attempted child snatch in Cippenham. The similarities shocked the Slough Times

  1. victim's gender: male

  2. victim's age: 11 years

  3. car colour: black

  4. reason for telling the child to enter the car: taking him to his mother

  5. car driver's skin colour: white

  6. car driver's gender: male

  7. car driver's age: early 20's

  8. car driver had a tattoo - on his head; his jacket concealed his arms

Thankfully the child escaped. On this occasion the child has remembered significant details about the dangerous child-snatcher and the car. As a very welcome bonus the child has created an E-fit picture of the man.

The Slough Times understands Lynch Hill School's parents received a warning letter this afternoon that the child snatcher is back.

The Slough Times is disappointed Thames Valley Police waited an entire month, after the second attempted child snatch on 15 June 2016, before alerting the community with a press release issued after 17:00 hours on 14 July.

Because the apprehension of this man is vitally important, here is the entire police press release with a link to the police web site and to the Chad News archive.

TVP press release 337846              Chad News archive copy

Slough : Thursday 14 July 2016, 4:57pm

E-Fit released following attempted child abduction

Thames Valley Police is releasing an E-Fit image of a man in relation to an attempted child abduction incident in Slough.

At about 3.30pm on June 15 in Cippenham, an 11-year-old boy was walking in Haswell Crescent when he was approached by a black vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle told the boy that he had come to take him to his mother and to get in the car.

The child refused and the car drove away at speed.

The driver is a white man, aged in his early twenties, bald, and with a distinctive flame tattoo which starts at the back of his head and wraps around his right ear.

He has light facial hair and a large build, and was wearing a black leather jacket.

He was driving a black 4x4 style vehicle with silver roof bars.

Investigating officer Det Con Rachel Kluger of Maidenhead Force CID said: "Although there was no physical contact between the boy and the offender, this was a frightening incident for the victim, and I would like to commend him for his bravery in coming forward.

"I would ask anyone who recognises the man in this image or anyone who witnessed the incident to contact us via the non-emergency number 101, or to call Crimestoppers."

If you don't want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers (opens new window) anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

The Slough Times disagrees with Rachel Kluger's passive attitude to apprehending this wanted man. It is very important the police can talk to this man without delay.

• If you see a man in a car matching the description, try to remember the car's registration number then dial 999 (or 112) and mention 'Cippenham attempted child abduction in June this year'.

• If you see a man matching the description in any other circumstances, do NOT approach the man and do NOT alert him to your interest. Quietly observe what he is doing and who he may be with then, without attracting attention, please dial 999 (or 112) and mention 'Cippenham attempted child abduction in June this year'

Everyone's vigilance is needed to protect Slough's young children from being abducted and possibly worse.