(Advocate file photo.)

Two reported incidents of strangers approaching students are no cause for alarm: RCMP

No one touched a child, no abduction attempts were made, says constable

Worried parents have been calling Red Deer RCMP over letters that were sent home from schools suggesting students are being lured by strangers.

In fact, neither of the two incidents reported this week are cause for alarm, said Const. Derek Turner, a community liaison officer with the Red Deer City RCMP.

He stressed that nobody had laid hands on any student, and there were no abduction attempts made.

In the first case, a student was walking home from school in Glendale on Tuesday and passed an adult male who appeared to have some mental health issues. Turner said the child later told parents that this stranger wanted to know where the student resides.

Police are still looking into details of what exactly happened in this case. But Turner said police established that the adult did not touch or attempt to lure the student.

In a second separate case that was reported the same day, a student was returning from school in Red Deer County and was asked by the driver of a silver SUV whether there’s anyone else at home?

Police discovered the driver had been trying to drum up some driveway paving business, and was asking the child whether any adults were around that he could talk to. Turner said nothing suspicious was found about this man’s motives.

In both cases, the children did what they were supposed to do, and reported the incidents to adults, he added.

But Turner believes some of what was passed on to parents in the letters was based on miscommunication, so school districts are being encouraged to first consult with police.

Haleigh Packer, communications co-ordinator for Red Deer Catholic schools, said it wasn’t the district’s intention to stir alarm — the letters were to ensure that parents talk to their children about safety measures in walking to or from school.

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