Concern over attempted abductions
PAULINE Murray, like her fellow Coramba citizens, shudders at the thought someone is preying on local kids.
“It makes you feel sick,” said Pauline, who owns the Coramba Post Office.
“On Tuesday afternoon I stood out the front while the kids were walking home. Everyone's been keeping an eye out.
“It think it's pretty sad when you live out in the country and you have to worry about crazy people roaming after children.
“Kids go down to Duncans Bridge Road because it's safe to ride your bike with no traffic and lots of kids walk home from school here.”
Pauline said she didn't let her girls go down to the Orara River after an unsavoury incident a few years ago.
“Someone was hanging around the place and they approached a young girl. She was big enough to push the person away and run,” she said.
Pauline grew up in the Orara Valley and she says the place has certainly changed.
“There were not the people around then like there are now. You think you are safe in a country town but that's why it happens in country towns,” she said.
Down the road at Country Cubs Preschool, the front door has an Advocate article on the predator and a police media release warning parents. The preschool is also mailing out newsletters to anxious parents.
“We're alerting them to the fact it's happened. It's not just happening in Sydney, it's happening here,” said preschool supervisor Tracey Cooper.
“I nearly dropped dead when I heard the news. You just don't hear about that sort of stuff happening here.”
Yesterday, Tracey was reading to her preschoolers from the child safety series Stumpy and Friends, about a boy who sees a man pull up and look at his new puppy.
“We ask them what they think a stranger would look like and they say they're dressed in black or wearing a hood but we say it could be anybody,” she said.
Coramba General Store's Chris Oborne said the incidents were scary and unsettling.
“I don't have any kids here but it's scary to think someone is doing this. Some little country towns you don't think it's going to happen,” she said. “Kids normally walk around the town. They go to the river and swim and go home.”
Long-time local and father-of-five, Coramba Service Station proprietor Denis Thomas, says the abduction attempts are a first for the town and are enough to frighten any parent.