Pick ‘n Pay’s response to the alleged abduction at a Pick ‘n Pay store

Pick n Pay’s first priority is always for our customers and their safety, and we take all incidents very seriously. Thankfully the child is safe and was already back with her mother when our store staff were first alerted.

We have cooperatedfully with the police, including providing a detailed statement and sharing our CCTV footage.

We have also met the mother again since the incident to express our sympathy and support, and explain the actions we have taken.

Our understanding is that, having investigated the evidence including our CCTV footage, the police believe that this was not an attempt at kidnap and that there is no case for taking further action.

There have been many reactions to the incident at the Pick ‘n Pay Capricorn Park Muizenberg.  Some a bit alarming, some a bit concerning about the sanity in the blog-o-sphere.

I think the key issue here is that the issue is not that the specific retailer is to blame.  It is a “sense/feeling” that the incident was not handled well, and more importantly this could have happened to any of us.

You.  Me.  Anyone.

I am sure that if this had occurred in another retailer they may have dealt with it in the equally fumbling, less than ideal manner, but the reality is we will never know.  This happened, and this store dealt with it this way.

I am glad that Margo has brought this to attention – not to shame Pick ‘n Pay but to remind us how quickly things go wrong, even when you are picking lettuce up at your local retailer.

I sincerely hope that we have all learnt something from this incident.

I have three kids, and the reality is when I am shopping I cannot actually hold on to all of them, nor hold their hands no  matter how goof my best intentions are.

If you have shopped with children you will understand what I mean.

I often shop with my two youngest, and as much as I want to tell you I hold their hands the entire time.   I need to queue to purchase items and am distracted as I order at the delicatessen or the bakery.  And again cannot look at my kids as the assistant hands over the order.

I have to put groceries and kids in the car – and then I need to do something with the trolley – how do you expect me to keep all of these within eye sight?

It just is not possible.  No matter how vigilant you are.

I do not expect retailers to be responsible for my kids – but I do expect them to have a procedure in place when something occurs and listen to me if something has happened to my child.

No they are not the police.  But listen to me if I am indicating a problem, and take the time and energy to call the police so that they in turn can interview the suspects, and be able to handle the situation on the spot.

I sneaked in to a drive-in movie when I was about 11. They called the police.  I think the entry cost was R1.50.  The police came out and scared the shit out of me.

Point being, sure it is not your responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone on the planet, but if there is something that smells a bit iffy call the police, or some form of authority and allow the time to investigate, take statements – then step back.

When my kid were smaller and in the habit of throwing almighty thrombies at retail stores, I would leave them thrashing and screaming and just walk away – I would remain in ear shot so I could still hear them losing their shit in the aisle, I just would move on.

Clearly I would rethink that as a course of action.

Margo I hope you will heal from this – I cannot imagine nightmares you have.

I “almost” slammed my child’s hand in the car door when he was an infant. I didn’t.  I still think about it nearly every day and imagine the damage it could have caused.  My infant is now a 12 year old man-boy.  I still think about that day when ever he gets into my car and I close the car door.

Moms/parents worry.  Moms freak out if kids are out of their line of sight.

I hope we all have taken something positive from this experience.

Except Leon and Chuck. They have been total dicks!!!

{I think it is fine to be total dicks, but then be a dick who has no problem exposing who you are, and where we can contact you.  Be a man use your this-is-me-and-I-stand-by-my-statements-made-on-line.  Hiding behind a shite email address makes you double the dick — and a total shit head at the same time — other wise, good luck with that}

Original post and comments can be read at:  https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/abducting-babies-in-trolleys-at-pick-n-pay/

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4 Comments

  1. The Blessed Barrenness

     /  February 3, 2014

    Totally agree Celeste! For me, the issue with the entire incident was not that I expect PnP to be responsible for my children while I shop in their stores but rather that they take me seriously when something potentially happens to my child.
    The incident itself is terrifying but PnP’s seemingly lack of action in the matter, at the time of the incident, is what infuriated me. They can hold shoppers on suspicion of shop lifting till the police arrive but didn’t appear to do the same with a potential kidnapping? That’s the bit that confused and angered me.

    Reply
    • Alexandra

       /  February 4, 2014

      I totally agree – they should have held the men until the police arrived. How can anyone make the assumption that it is not a kidnapping attempt until it is properly investigated. Maybe the men involved have records for previous incidents involving children. But how will PnP know that unless they check the ID’s of the men involved.

      Reply
  2. Yolandi

     /  February 3, 2014

    I must say I am quite shocked by their comment that there is no evidence there.

    If I go into an airport and shout bomb, I will be arrested and treated as if I am a potential terrorist.
    If someone takes your child away from you without your consent should they not be treated as a potential kidnapper?

    Reply
  1. CHILD KIDNAPPING at out back door | The Stiletto Mum

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