GONE IN 90 SECONDS: HORRIFYING EXPERIMENT THAT LEAVES PARENTS SHOCKED – The thought of any child being abducted will turn even the hardest of stomachs; it is something most of us often dare not even consider.
We, as parents, continuously remind our children never to walk off with a stranger; no matter what the circumstances.
The question is do our kids really take in what we say about strangers and do they fully understand the dangers?
ITV’s Daybreak in conjunction with the children’s charity Kidscape decided to undertake an experiment in order to see just how difficult it was for a complete stranger to convince a child to leave with them.
The setup was a park that had been closed off to the general public. Daybreak and Kidscape then asked a number of parents to help conduct the experiment.
The idea was to allow their children to play in the park unsupervised. A security guard, who played the part of the predator, was employed to then approach the children, one by one, to see if they would go with him; the ruse he used was that he was either looking for his own lost child or his dog.
As the horrified parents looked on one by one the kids, within just 90 seconds, were convinced to leave the park area with the man whom none of them had ever met.
Of the nine children that were used in the experiment a staggering seven of them left with the security guard which gave each and every parent a clear and horrifying reminder that the message they tell their kids is not getting through and just how easy it is to persuade a child.
If you are anything like me you are probably shaking your head in disbelief for you might have believed, as I did, that our kids were a little savvier; especially considering the amount of times we have told them never, ever, walk off with a stranger.
I have to admit the experiment and results left me completely cold and tonight I’ll be sitting down with my kids and once again explain to them the dangers – I’ll also let them read this article in the hope that what I tell them sinks home.
I found this more than disturbing for two very good reasons. Firstly I was shocked that seven of the nine children walked off with a man they had never met and secondly because it took him a maximum of 90 seconds to convince them.
I think we can all now fully appreciate that we must drive the message home, for anyone could lose their child in less than two minutes and this is certainly a situation no parent ever wants to be in.
Tonight, sit your kids down, explain to them the dangers and remind them clearly that no matter how friendly or trusting a person happens to appear they should never be persuaded to accompany a stranger under any circumstances.
Daybreak and Kidscape revealed that 273 children were abducted last year alone by a stranger. Daybreak and Kidscape did report that all the parents and children who took part in the experiment underwent psychological checks and that all the staff, including the person who acted as the predator, passed CRB checks.