Stranger danger

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I thought it was very brave of Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson to criticise parents who don’t let their children walk to school (your report, 29 June), and even braver to claim that the threat posed by paedophiles is exaggerated.

I agree that our children are more wrapped in cotton wool than ever, but there is so much work to do in order to reverse that worrying trend.

People need to know their neighbours and to normalise kids playing in the street with their pals.

We need to rely less on televisions and computer games as forms of entertainment (I know, easier said than done).

Parents also need to have a lighter touch when it comes to extracurricular activities. It’s understandable that eager parents want their children to have as many opportunities as possible to better themselves, but sometimes that can be done by letting them run around, get hurt, get dirty, get stronger and learn resilience.

We all need to stop being so competitive on behalf of the next generation.

As for the paedophile threat element to all this – yes, there are occasions on which children are snatched by strangers on the street, and this must be utterly devastating for the families. But there are greater threats from those hiding in plain site, as recent events have shown.

Angela Innes

Dundas Street

Edinburgh

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