You will recall that we made parents and students aware of some concerning incidents last week regarding an individual who had been seen in the woods around the school. Since then the police have increased their uniform presence in the area, and have also had plain clothes officers patrolling at key times. We have had no further issues this week but we are aware that there has been some discussion on social media, in particular regarding an incident near St Botolph’s primary school. This incident was followed up and the following is an extract from a letter sent from the school.
“We hear this morning that Facebook has been busy with news of a man taking photos of our children as they played on the field yesterday. Hopefully, by explaining the situation, you will feel reassured that the situation was dealt with robustly and at no point were our children in any danger.
During the lunch hour, our children were playing on the field as normal. A few children alerted me to a man taking pictures on his phone from the other side of the fence in the Orton Hall car park. I immediately approached the man.
We had a conversation that lasted for approximately five minutes and he made no attempt to avoid me or my questions. The gentleman was a tourist from the Far East who was staying at Orton Hall Hotel. He freely told me that he had taken photos with the intention of showing his children what English schools were like once back at home in Japan.
I explained that taking images of children in this way is not permitted and asked him to delete the images. He apologised. He deleted two photos as I watched and he then showed me that there were no more by scrolling backwards through the other photos on his phone. I watched him do this and was satisfied that no images of our children remained on his phone.
As Designated Person for Child Protection, I am fully aware of the potential dangers of these situations. However, in this case I am wholly satisfied that the gentleman’s intentions were not sinister, rather they were borne of a lack of understanding of our child protection culture. I have not involved the Police.
I have spoken to Ms Crowther at Nene Park Academy this morning and there is no connection with an incident that occurred there last week.”
Both schools will continue to monitor the situation and remain in close contact with the police. Our advice continues to be that there is no cause for undue alarm but also that the usual messages about personal safety should be reinforced. We will of course update parents should we have any further information and appreciate your support with this matter.