Abduction attempt puts schools on high alert

POLICE have stepped up after-school patrols at Darling Downs state schools after two young girls were allegedly approached by a man in a school carpark.

Samara Laverty, the mother of one of the children, said her daughter and a friend had just exited the Chinchilla State Primary School grounds after school on Monday, November 9 when a man standing outside his car gestured at them and told them to get in his vehicle.

"My first questions (to them were) 'are you sure that that was to you?' and 'are you sure there was no one around you or behind you (that he was speaking to)?'" Ms Laverty said.

"They were both dead-set adamant and every time I questioned them it was the same story over and over again, it didn't change. Not even when I questioned them separately."

Ms Laverty said the two girls, aged nine and 10, had told the man 'no' and immediately ran away.

Ms Laverty said four or five people had approached her since the incident saying that about the time of the incident a vehicle matching the description given by the girls had sped out of the library carpark before overtaking a line of cars waiting to exit onto Heeney St.

Witnesses said the car had pulled out in front of an oncoming bus, forcing the driver to brake suddenly while drivers of other cars in the vicinity had honked their horns.

Chinchilla police confirmed they had increased patrols of the local schools since being notified of the incident and, as with any allegation involving children, were taking the matter very seriously.

Officer in charge Sergeant Gerard Brady however stressed the need for a level-headed response from the community where there was potential for misunderstanding.

"Whilst we advise the community remains vigilant, (we mustn't) let it develop into hysteria," Sgt Brady said.

"At this stage we have no further information."

Ms Laverty said the incident had rattled her and other local parents.

"It's not something you'd expect in Chinchilla," she said.

"It's really reignited the stranger danger discussions."

Police have called on anyone with information about the incident to phone Chinchilla Police Station on 4662 7200.



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