Concern about online ‘kidnapping’ video

2017-07-04 06:00

PARENTS in the Highway area are on alert following a video that has gone viral on social media­ of an alleged attempted kidnapping from a restaurant play area.

The video on Facebook, dated November 1, 2016, shows a man walking into a restaurant play area, picking up a child and walking off with him, while his parents sit at their table.

Luckily the child’s dad notices what occurred and went after the man, who claimed to have being “playing with the child”.

Over 500 000 people have viewed the video which was posted by Dewald Wessels.

He said he had permission from the parents to post the video and issued a warning to parents to keep a close eye on their children.

Highway parents are now angry and claim they feel it is unacceptable that such an incident could have happened.

Kathy Singh, a mother of a three-year-old, said she is sadden by the incident and feels children are becoming easy targets.

“Parents, keep a close eye on their children all the time, How much more can we do?

“It is so sad to see that the parents could have lost their child in an instant if the dad had looked away for a spilt second.

“We cannot live like this. Everywhere we go we need to watch our back. Must we not let our children play, and have leashes on them? The guy should be jailed for life for attempted kidnapping,” said Singh.

Sonel Steyn from Upper Highway, a mother of two, was also shocked and angered after watching the video.

“As parents of two children who go to restaurants with ‘safe’ children play areas to keep them entertained while we wait for our food, I am really scared - this could happen so quickly and so easily.

“I believe they have to make the kids area more secure, make sure that parents walk their children to the play area themselves, and have this area behind a closed secure door or gate.

“If parents want to collect the child they should not be allowed in - the supervisor­ or caregiver there must call the child from a distance and confirm that they know the person at the door before allowing them to leave.
“If the child wants to leave the area they must be escorted by one of the caregivers to the table where the parents are sitting.”

Steyn said it is sad that we live in a country where we have to live as though we are in prison, and protect ourselves, our children and our belongings from everyone.

“What is happening to our country? When will all this crime and agony stop?” she said.

SA Community Crime Watch spokesperson Steven King said parents should teach their children not to speak to or go with strangers.

“Things like this happen in split seconds so children need to be aware of ‘stranger danger’.

“Just as our parents warned us, regularly remind your children not to engage in conversation with strangers, even online.

“If they are ‘taken’ they need to attract attention by screaming for help,” he added.

To view the video, log on to Pinetown Fever Facebook page.

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