Must another tragedy happen?

Last year, Iwas really concerned when my daughter told me about an elderly man “who looks like Father Christmas” who seemed to hang around her school and follow groups of girls down the road, taking pictures of them with a small camera.

We reported this to the school, who told us they had received several other similar complaints from other parents. Shortly afterwards, we read in the local paper about this man, and assumed that the matter had been resolved by the authorites.

Yet she told me today that “Father Christmas” – far from being taken out of circulation, or at the very least warned off, had followed her and a group of friends onto the platform of the local train station last week. It seems he walked up to one of the stragglers, tapped her on the shoulder and asked her if she would like some boxes of sweets from the back of his car. Thankfully on this occasion she was with a group of friends who collectively rounded on the man and sent him off with a flea in his ear.

But how long until he picks on a lone student? Just what on earth are our authorities doing? In a week where the abuse of Baby P was largely ignored by authorities, what kind of systems do we have in place to protect our sons and daughters?

Or must another tragedy happen before common sense prevails?

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