PETER Cooper collects daughter, Ebonie, 6, yesterday from her Goonellabah school.
PETER Cooper collects daughter, Ebonie, 6, yesterday from her Goonellabah school.

Kidnap bid not an isolated incident?

By Alex Easton

Police have appealed for information on attempted child abductions after news yesterday that a failed kidnap at Lismore may not have been an isolated incident.

Goonellabah Public School has told parents in this week's newsletter that it had tightened security after 'several recent reports of attempted abductions in the local area'.

An Education Department spokesman said the newsletter referred to incidents near Wyrallah Road Public School and a school ? understood to be St Joseph's Catholic Primary School ? at Alstonville.

The Northern Star yesterday reported that a woman in a grey station wagon with tinted windows tried to coax a 10-year-old girl into her car near Wyrallah Road school last Thursday.

St Josephs declined to comment on the other incident, but the Education Department spokesman said it had happened about two weeks ago, when a 'suspicious person was seen acting in a possibly suspicious manner'.

The Goonellabah Public School newsletter asks parents to remind children how to stay safe when going to and from school, and says the school was prepared to implement 'lock down' procedures if a threat did present itself.

Under a lock down the school bell rings continuously, signalling students to run immediately to the nearest occupied classroom or office building and signalling teachers to lock doors and pull blinds.

Parents at the school yesterday said they were shocked to learn of the attempted abduction and would increase the 'stranger danger' message to their children.

Goonellabah father Peter Cooper said his daughter, Ebony, usually caught the bus home, but he would now pick her up each day.

"She knows all the stranger danger stuff .. but I'll be a lot more wary," he said.

Richmond Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Steve Clarke said police had information only on the Wyrallah Road attempted abduction.

"From our perspective it's absolutely imperative that any incident of this nature is reported to police," he said.

Anyone with information should call Lismore police on 66231599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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