Police investigate suspicious incidents involving children
We are alerting the public to several suspicious incidents that have been reported to police since Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021.
In total, we have received four reports of possible abduction or child luring attempts, in the communities of Windsor Park, Wildwood, Forest Lawn and Copperfield. In each reported case, the victim was alone when approached by a suspect. In relation to the incident in Wildwood, two suspects have been identified by police and the investigation is ongoing.
We have assigned multiple resources from across the Service to investigate each incident, and officers have reviewed a significant amount of CCTV from each area. While we continue to investigate the details surrounding these incidents, given the seriousness of the allegations and out of an abundance of caution, this information is being shared with the public. Our officers have also increased patrols in these areas following the incidents.
At this time, there are no similiarities in suspect descriptions and no additional evidence to believe that these reports are connected. Officers are working hard to identify possible suspects for the Windsor Park, Forest Lawn and Copperfield incidents by continuing to review CCTV images and speaking to witnesses.
“These reports are extremely concerning to us and to all of Calgary,” says Staff Sergeant Kurt Jacobs of the District 1 General Investigations Unit. “Calgarians deserve to feel safe in their communities, and we have dedicated our resources to investigating each allegation thoroughly.”
Anyone with information about these incidents, or any suspicious activity, should contact police by calling 403-266-1234. Anyone in immediate danger or witnessing a crime-in-progress should call 9-1-1.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:
APP: P3 Tips
Resources for parents
Calgary is a very safe place to live, but it’s still important to keep in mind the dangers that can exist in our communities, however rare they may be. Following are a number of tips for parents to use when speaking with their children:
- Teach your children who is a safe adult. Have a conversation with your child about who a stranger is, and how even people known to them could still be dangerous. In the past we’ve talked with children a lot about “stranger danger”, however unfortunately we now know that many child abductions are actually committed by people the child already knows. The important message to teach your children is to not go anywhere with anyone without first getting permission from you.
- Use the buddy system. When your children are out in the community, make sure they are always with at least one other person. Make sure you get to know your children’s friends and their parents, and have contact numbers in case of an emergency.
- Show your children safe places in the community. Point out safe places in your community that your children can go to for help if they need it. These places could include police, fire and EMS stations, schools, community centres, businesses, or even trusted neighbours. It’s important for children to have multiple places they can go to in an emergency.
- Know where your child is at all times. If your child is travelling anywhere by themselves, make sure you agree on a predetermined route before they go. If it’s somewhere they go often, they should always use the same route so you know where they’ll be. Also, always have your child text or call you when they arrive at their final destination or when they are on their way home.
- Staying safe online. If you’re children use social media platforms, make sure you know who they are communicating with. It’s important to teach them that people they meet online may not always be who they say they are. If they want to meet an online friend in person, you should be involved in making the plans and be present when the meeting happens.
- If an attempted abduction happens teach your children to actively resist, shout out loud and draw attention to themselves. Make sure they know where to go for help or how to call police.