CCTV Finds Two Young Putney Runaways

who disappeared after a trip to the shops on Friday evening


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Two young children who went missing from their home in Putney on Friday night have been reunited with their families after they were located by an eagle-eyed CCTV operator.

The two boys, aged 11 and nine, live on the Ashburton estate, when the boys did not return the older boy's mother frantically contacted the police. The alarm was raised at 11.10pm on Friday.

As police searched Putney for the missing children a call went out to the council's CCTV control room which is able to monitor all the cameras owned and operated by the town hall.

Armed with a brief description of the runaways, details of what they were wearing, and information that they may have headed towards Putney High Street, a council CCTV operator scanned images from the cameras in and around the area and spotted the boys at a bus stop

He alerted the police to their location and carried on monitoring them. Fortunately he was still watching them when he saw them climb aboard a bus heading towards Fulham just before midnight.

He was then able to steer officers towards the right bus as it crossed Putney Bridge. The police were able to stop the bus, rescue the children and take them home, where they were reunited with their families.

The council's executive member for regeneration and community safety Cllr James Cousins (pictured left) said: "Thank goodness the cameras managed to pick up these two boys. If it hadn’t been for the fast work and quick thinking of the operator these boys could have ended up anywhere.

"This is a good example of the wide range of uses that our cameras can perform. Of course they are primarily there to detect and combat crime and disorder, but they can also be used to monitor all sorts of situations from road accidents and traffic hold-ups to this kind of emergency.

"I am delighted and relieved that in this case they played a pivotal role in returning two missing children to their families before they came to any harm."

June 13, 2008