Kindergarten security tightened after 'mentally ill' woman tries to take two-year-old

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 March, 2014, 3:15am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 March, 2014, 8:44am

A Tseung Kwan O kindergarten has stepped up security after a woman, who is believed to be mentally ill, tried to take a child from outside the preschool on Tuesday.

The Salvation Army Hing Yan Kindergarten said parents would no longer be allowed to freely enter the grounds to collect their children. Instead they would have to line up outside the preschool with the proof-of-identity permits issued by the kindergarten to hand.

The move came after a 50-year-old woman turned up at the preschool on Sheung Ning Road, Hang Hau, at about noon and told the staff that she wanted to pick up her child when the morning session ended.

"But she failed to give the child's name or any particulars and staff rejected her request," a police spokeswoman said.

The woman was asked to leave as she could not produce one of the kindergarten permits which allow people to pick up children.

She then tried to take away a two-year-old pupil who had already been collected by a parent and was in a pushchair outside the kindergarten's main entrance, a Salvation Army spokeswoman said.

A teacher called police and parents were asked to leave with their children via the back of the kindergarten.

Officers were called in and were later told by the woman's husband that his wife has been suffering from a mental illness, according to police. A police spokeswoman said no arrest had been made as the kindergarten opted not to pursue the case.

The Salvation Army spokeswoman said that for the safety of the 232 pupils studying at the kindergarten, a notice was issued to parents on Wednesday to inform them of the incident and a new pick-up arrangement was instituted to prevent such an incident from happening again.

"Parents are not allowed to get into the preschool to wait for picking up their children any more. They have to line up outside the campus with their permits in hand," she said.