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Stonnington police urge parents to educate children on avoiding abductions

Stonnington police are encouraging parents to arm their children with information to protect them from abduction.
The call comes after a 13-year-old boy was approached by a man in a car on Domain Rd, South Yarra.
Acting Inspector Dagmar Andersen said the man on May 25 pulled over and talked with the boy, who wasn't hurt or threatened.
Insp Andersen said police were still investigating after the boy's mother contacted them.
Prahran Sergeant Mark Sahib said that, after an increase in media reports of child abductions, it was a timely reminder to parents and caregivers to keep young people safe.
Sgt Sahib said from the perspective of a parent and police investigator, the thought of a child being abducted raised "a multitude of horrific thoughts".
"Fortunately the actual incidents of child abduction in Victoria remain relatively low, with the statistics showing 11 abductions of children under 16 years old in the year to date," Sgt Sahib said.
He said people needed to be proactive, including by talking to children about awareness when they were out in public.
"Encourage simple behaviours such as walking in groups to and from school, walking in well-lit areas ... avoiding short-cuts home such as through scrub, wooded reserves or closed industrial estates," Sgt Sahib said.
Sgt Sahib said would-be abductors' common lures included offering gifts, asking children to help look for lost animals, approaching children in shopping centres or asking for directions.
He said teaching children to trust their instincts was important. "If it does not feel right it probably is not."

Stonnington Leader (4-6-2013)
Holly McKay

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