Weighing in on recent media reports of “kidnap scares” in the Dover area, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam has warned against “spreading untrue stories and unnecessarily alarming parents”.
In a Facebook post on Monday (22 January), Shanmugam noted, “Police have investigated both incidents thoroughly, interviewed the persons involved. There were no kidnap attempts.”
The news broke last week that two international schools in the Dover area had issued warnings to parents after two female students claimed to have been offered lifts by strangers.
Police reports were also filed over each incident.
The first incident took place on 11 January and involved a male driver who offered a ride to a student from United World College of South East Asia as it was raining that day.
According to a subsequent police Facebook post, investigations found that the man had no ill intent and the child’s parents were subsequently updated on the matter.
In the second case on 16 January, a female bus attendant aboard a school bus providing transport services for the Tanglin Trust School offered a ride to a student whom she saw walking towards the school.
The attendant’s school bus, however, did not bear the name or logo of the school and the student declined the offer as she had earlier read a school circular advising students against accepting rides from strangers.
“It is important for young children to be taught to be careful, when approached by strangers… Certainly, we should teach our children not to get into any vehicles with strangers ,” said the law minister in his post.