Report of attempted abduction in Jurong? It's false, say police

A police report circulating online about an alleged attempted abduction of a 10-year-old boy in Jurong West Street 72 is untrue, the police said yesterday.

The police said in a statement that they were aware of the case, which allegedly occurred on Tuesday, and have thoroughly investigated it.

"We have verified that the report is untrue and the boy had lied to his parents," the statement added.

A photo of the police report made by a parent of the boy was shared widely on Facebook and WhatsApp.

According to the report, the boy claimed that he was on his way home from Westwood Primary School at about 1pm with a friend, when a grey van stopped next to them in Jurong West Street 72.

A passenger in the van then wound the window down and asked them to get into the vehicle, adding that he was there to pick the boy up, as instructed by his parent.

Afraid, the two boys then ran home and later met the boy's maid at the void deck, the report said.

UNTRUE

We have verified that the report is untrue and the boy had lied to his parents.

SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE, in a statement issued yesterday.

In the statement, the police said that they treat such reports seriously. "At the same time, we urge members of the public not to speculate or spread unsubstantiated information which may generate unnecessary public alarm," the statement added.

Last week, several international schools sent letters to parents urging them to be vigilant, after students reported attempts to lure them into vehicles. However, the two incidents at the United World College South East Asia Dover campus and Tanglin Trust School were found to be instances of people trying to be helpful by offering the students a lift.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, commenting on the recent incidents in a Facebook post on Monday, similarly cautioned against spreading false information.

He stressed that while it is important for young children to be taught to be careful when approached by strangers, there is also a need to be careful of spreading untrue stories and unnecessarily alarming parents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2018, with the headline 'Report of attempted abduction in Jurong? It's false, say police'. Print Edition | Subscribe