Many Hong Kong parents are worried over the safety of their children in schools after several unverified cases of attempted kidnapping of pupils from kindergartens and primary schools were reported in the past week.
As the number of affected districts seems to have increased, some kindergartens and primary schools have sent out notices to parents to ask them to pay more attention to the safety of their children, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The first case took place last Wednesday, when parents were waiting to pick up their kids from the Creative Kindergarten and Day Nursery in Kowloon Tong.
Some parents said they saw a suspicious-looking van with the sign “We buy tea leaves” parked outside the school, but it left immediately when a police patrol car approached.
The parents said the van had no reason to park outside the school if, as the sign said, it was engaged in trading tea leaves.
They suspect the driver was waiting for an opportunity to snatch schoolchildren.
Another “kidnapping attempt” reportedly took place two days later at St. Peter’s Catholic Kindergarten in Aberdeen.
Sing Tao Daily reported that similar concerns reached King Lam Catholic Primary School in Tseung Kwan O, after two students said a stranger approached them and tried to strike up a conversation with them last week, and showed up again a few days later.
The school has sent a notice to parents, asking them to stay vigilant when waiting to pick up their children at the campus.
It also asked the police to increase the frequency of their patrols in the vicinity of the school.
Tai Po Merchants Association Kindergarten also sent out a similar notice after some parents reported to the police that they have seen suspicious-looking men waiting outside the campus.
Police told reporters there was no evidence that abduction was being planned or attempted in the reported incidents. They promised to enhance patrols near schools in all districts.
In a related development, the Consulate General of Japan told its citizens in Hong Kong on Monday to be vigilant amid such reports, news website hk01.com said.
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