Bonn The letter from the municipal kindergarten Siemensstraße warning of a "white van" has caused excitement in Bonn over the past few days. The police are now giving the all-clear.
According to the police, this is a school bus that collects children from all over the city and brings them home. "There is no evidence of a criminal offence," says Bonn police spokesman Frank Piontek in response to a GA request.
In the past few days, the police have received reports from some parts of the city describing a white van. This also applies to the city of Bonn and its day-care centers. As a result, the head of a day care center wrote a letter on Monday, which he posted in the day care center and in the neighbouring houses on Kolping Street.
The letter said that "a white van had stood in front of the kindergarten and was observing the children playing". This was photographed and shared hundreds of times on Facebook within a few hours. The topic was then discussed controversially. The room also discussedwhether it could be a forgery with the letterhead of the city of Bonn. However, the press office confirmed the authenticity of the letter and declared that the Bonn Youth Welfare Office welcomed the actions of the head of the day care center.
The police, on the other hand, did not recognise any acute danger, but were unable to provide any information on the ongoing investigations for the time being. There was certainty on Tuesday, after the police had located the van and its driver. The information on his route overlapped with observations from the population. According to the police, he mayhave been particularly suspicious because he has only recently been on the road as a school bus driver in Bonn.
In general, the police advise parents whose children have been approached by strangers to observe the following:
- The parents should first keep calm and convey to their child that he/she is safe with them. They should also praise their child for having reporteddirectly to them.
- Parents should also listen attentively to their child's descriptions and believe their child. They should not reproach the child.
- The police should be informed immediately by calling the emergency number 110 so that further measures can be taken.
The police have summarised further guidance for parents in a PDF document.
(Original text: Nicolas Ottersbach / Translation: Mareike Graepel)