Parents have taken to social media across East Renfrewshire after a mother claimed her son had been the subject of an attempted abduction at The Avenue on Sunday, April 2.
It wasn’t long before the original post, on a Facebook site called ‘Mearns Gossip Girls’ went viral.
The parent who had posted the original item, whom we have decided not to name, then claimed her son had not been the only incident that day, but that there had also been another three attempted abductions.
Police Scotland issued an official statement saying: “We can confirm that police received a report of an incident which occurred within the car park at the shopping centre around 1530 hrs on Sunday afternoon. It was reported that a man was acting suspiciously towards a ten year-old boy who ran off and informed the security guard. At no time was the child grabbed or pushed into a vehicle.”
Police Scotland also confirmed that they were unaware of any other incidents of children being approached and have no reports to substantiate the allegation of four children being involved.
A spokesperson for The Avenue commented: “We can confirm that the police are investigating the concerns of one individual over the weekend. Our priority is always our customers’ safety and the shopper in question is safe and well.
And people were not slow to make comment on our own Facebook page.
Kirsty Colvin remarked: “I highly doubt it was made up. Anyone sharing (including myself) did so out of concern, as I’m sure the mother did. True or not we can never be too careful.
Wouldn’t be surprised if they (Shopping centre/newspapers) were just trying to keep an incident like this in Mearns on the down low.”
Josephine Mclaughlin commented: “What kind of people make these things up? Thanks for clarifying,” while Claire Anderson said: “You not think that maybe this is the papers truly to stop hysteria and cover this up? Not very good publicity for the centre!”