Adventurous four-year-old boy found at Burnley bus station after police search

Burnley bus station where the boy was found. He had not boarded the bus pictured

Burnley bus station where the boy was found. He had not boarded the bus pictured

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by

AN adventurous four-year-old boy travelled more than a mile and a half alone on a bus to Burnley town centre.

The youngster had been playing in the street around lunchtime yesterday when he decided to get on a bus heading to the bus station.

Police said the former Giant Leap nursery pupil, named locally as Oliver, had caught the bus from a stop in Coal Clough Lane near to where he was playing.

After he was spotted walking alone near the station, Burnley response officer PC James Cooper took the boy to Burnley Police Station to try and track-down his parents.

An urgent press release was issued at 1.59pm yesterday after officers discovered there were no reports of missing children in the town.

Ten minutes later, Lancashire police confirmed they had found the youngster’s parents and would reunite the family.

Inquiries are now underway to find out how the boy was able to travel so far alone. Residents in the Coal Clough Lane area have expressed their shock that the youngster was able to travel unaccompanied.

Dylan Brown said: “It's terrible that this has happened, I’m shocked by it.
“It is very quiet at the top end of the road, you get a few children, but not many.

“It is a lot busier at the bottom end where the shops are, though, and there are usually a lot of people around during the day."

Laura McDonald said: “As a parent this is frightening.

“When it is so hot and sunny children want to play outside, you never think something like this can happen.

“It sounds like the police have done a good job to reunite him with his parents so quickly."

Another resident added: "It sounds horrifying for the parents. It just goes to show how quickly these things can happen with kids. I'm just so relieved he is fine."

Coun Margaret Brindle, Burnley Council’s member for the Coal Clough with Deerplay ward, praised officers’  handling of the situation.

She said: “The only comment I would make would be hats off to the police for acting so quickly, for stopping a dangerous situation and ensuring the young child was looked after.

“It easily could have been a lot worse but obviously some quick-witted person has dealt with it and I’m sure the boy’s family is grateful for that.”

It is not known which company operated the bus which the boy caught.

A spokesman for Lancashire police said: “Officers will be making inquiries to find out how exactly the boy was able to travel so far alone.”

Comments (16)

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9:37am Fri 13 Jun 14

mastergx says...

The bus driver let him on? Unaccompanied? Without paying? Maybe an older person took him on?
The bus driver let him on? Unaccompanied? Without paying? Maybe an older person took him on? mastergx
  • Score: 7

9:47am Fri 13 Jun 14

Champagne plus charlie says...

I know the family and to be honest the four year old kid (Who is unable to talk!) was playing out alone on the streets - AT FOUR YEARS OLD!!

To be honest it was lucky that there is a happy ending to this story.
I know the family and to be honest the four year old kid (Who is unable to talk!) was playing out alone on the streets - AT FOUR YEARS OLD!! To be honest it was lucky that there is a happy ending to this story. Champagne plus charlie
  • Score: 45

10:24am Fri 13 Jun 14

HelmshoreBoy says...

Champagne plus charlie wrote:
I know the family and to be honest the four year old kid (Who is unable to talk!) was playing out alone on the streets - AT FOUR YEARS OLD!!

To be honest it was lucky that there is a happy ending to this story.
Got to agree. Which sensible parent allows a four year old to play out on the street unsupervised. Absolute stupidity! The bus driver should have his marbles checked too for allowing him onto the bus too!
[quote][p][bold]Champagne plus charlie[/bold] wrote: I know the family and to be honest the four year old kid (Who is unable to talk!) was playing out alone on the streets - AT FOUR YEARS OLD!! To be honest it was lucky that there is a happy ending to this story.[/p][/quote]Got to agree. Which sensible parent allows a four year old to play out on the street unsupervised. Absolute stupidity! The bus driver should have his marbles checked too for allowing him onto the bus too! HelmshoreBoy
  • Score: 26

10:45am Fri 13 Jun 14

Champagne plus charlie says...

HelmshoreBoy wrote:
Champagne plus charlie wrote:
I know the family and to be honest the four year old kid (Who is unable to talk!) was playing out alone on the streets - AT FOUR YEARS OLD!!

To be honest it was lucky that there is a happy ending to this story.
Got to agree. Which sensible parent allows a four year old to play out on the street unsupervised. Absolute stupidity! The bus driver should have his marbles checked too for allowing him onto the bus too!
As far as the bus driver goes I can picture the scenario - a load of people get on the bus and Oliver runs to the back unseen - as kids do even when they are accompanied by their parents.

The more worrying thing for me is that Oliver had to cross Coal Clough Lane at it's busiest point, where the shops are, to get on the bus that leads into town - this could have been a disaster.

I have children that are older than Oliver and they don't get to play out unsupervised,
[quote][p][bold]HelmshoreBoy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Champagne plus charlie[/bold] wrote: I know the family and to be honest the four year old kid (Who is unable to talk!) was playing out alone on the streets - AT FOUR YEARS OLD!! To be honest it was lucky that there is a happy ending to this story.[/p][/quote]Got to agree. Which sensible parent allows a four year old to play out on the street unsupervised. Absolute stupidity! The bus driver should have his marbles checked too for allowing him onto the bus too![/p][/quote]As far as the bus driver goes I can picture the scenario - a load of people get on the bus and Oliver runs to the back unseen - as kids do even when they are accompanied by their parents. The more worrying thing for me is that Oliver had to cross Coal Clough Lane at it's busiest point, where the shops are, to get on the bus that leads into town - this could have been a disaster. I have children that are older than Oliver and they don't get to play out unsupervised, Champagne plus charlie
  • Score: 29

10:56am Fri 13 Jun 14

LancsLass says...

I have to agree with the majority who lets a 4 year old play out front unsupervised let alone not notice they are missing even!! I have a 5 year old who is only allowed out in my secure back garden and even then I am at the door and window every few minutes to check she is ok and still there. So glad this story has a happy ending could have been so different
I have to agree with the majority who lets a 4 year old play out front unsupervised let alone not notice they are missing even!! I have a 5 year old who is only allowed out in my secure back garden and even then I am at the door and window every few minutes to check she is ok and still there. So glad this story has a happy ending could have been so different LancsLass
  • Score: 24

12:15pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Copperhead says...

Don't blame the driver - 4yr olds don't have to pay fares on buses and if the kid got on the bus and was seemingly with an adult, the driver wouldn't have thought to ask the child's age, especially if the child was small.
I recall an incident a couple of years ago when a child of a similar age actually travelled to Bolton from Blackburn undetected because he got on the bus with a crowd of people.
Don't blame the driver - 4yr olds don't have to pay fares on buses and if the kid got on the bus and was seemingly with an adult, the driver wouldn't have thought to ask the child's age, especially if the child was small. I recall an incident a couple of years ago when a child of a similar age actually travelled to Bolton from Blackburn undetected because he got on the bus with a crowd of people. Copperhead
  • Score: 10

1:21pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Truth will out says...

100% parents fault. Playing unsupervised in the street at 4 years old.

They're lucky he wasn't hit by a car or worse still we end up with an April Jones kind of situation.

Well done to the officer who took responsibility. Perhaps he can pass on some of his thoughts to the parents.
100% parents fault. Playing unsupervised in the street at 4 years old. They're lucky he wasn't hit by a car or worse still we end up with an April Jones kind of situation. Well done to the officer who took responsibility. Perhaps he can pass on some of his thoughts to the parents. Truth will out
  • Score: 32

3:06pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Doctor44 says...

If i had kids i wouldn't let them play out unsuperised, what do you expect for coal clough lane. There's alot of dodgy families who live round there, but yet they are some genuine decent families. What kind of parent allows their child to wander off, anything could've happened to that kid.
If i had kids i wouldn't let them play out unsuperised, what do you expect for coal clough lane. There's alot of dodgy families who live round there, but yet they are some genuine decent families. What kind of parent allows their child to wander off, anything could've happened to that kid. Doctor44
  • Score: 5

5:27pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Catty girl says...

Thank god the little lad is safe and well I don't blame the driver the little lad could have just got on behind a line of people paying the driver and how was he too see him or know who he was with or not as was the case this should be a lesson to the parents to look after him more carefully! And not take there eyes off him now!
Thank god the little lad is safe and well I don't blame the driver the little lad could have just got on behind a line of people paying the driver and how was he too see him or know who he was with or not as was the case this should be a lesson to the parents to look after him more carefully! And not take there eyes off him now! Catty girl
  • Score: 6

5:58pm Fri 13 Jun 14

berny55 says...

social services need to look into this.
social services need to look into this. berny55
  • Score: 19

6:56pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Lisaanne1987 says...

Or maybe the mother had left him with a babysitter while she took her mum to a hospital appointment did you ever think of that instead oh no let's slate the parents
Or maybe the mother had left him with a babysitter while she took her mum to a hospital appointment did you ever think of that instead oh no let's slate the parents Lisaanne1987
  • Score: -16

12:29am Sat 14 Jun 14

Loopypoo1 says...

Lisaanne1987 wrote:
Or maybe the mother had left him with a babysitter while she took her mum to a hospital appointment did you ever think of that instead oh no let's slate the parents
The parents are not exactly burnleys top parents. The mother is out almost every weekend drinking and often in a state and the father is questionably an illegal immigrant.
It is totally 100% the parents fault whether or not another person was in charge because you should trust someone to look after your children!
Total waste of space the pair of them and social services should definitely get involved. This could've been a lot worse than what it was!!
[quote][p][bold]Lisaanne1987[/bold] wrote: Or maybe the mother had left him with a babysitter while she took her mum to a hospital appointment did you ever think of that instead oh no let's slate the parents[/p][/quote]The parents are not exactly burnleys top parents. The mother is out almost every weekend drinking and often in a state and the father is questionably an illegal immigrant. It is totally 100% the parents fault whether or not another person was in charge because you should trust someone to look after your children! Total waste of space the pair of them and social services should definitely get involved. This could've been a lot worse than what it was!! Loopypoo1
  • Score: 14

6:49am Sat 14 Jun 14

Real Ale Up North says...

The parents obviously didn't have a clue where he was - and were obviously not bothered. He has probably been playing out for a while. Then he wanders off and gets on a bus. Thankfully, a member of the police spots him and takes him to the station. They then track the parents down, as there has been no reports of a missing child. So you must be talking well over an hour - and still the parents were seemingly not bothered where their small child was.
The parents obviously didn't have a clue where he was - and were obviously not bothered. He has probably been playing out for a while. Then he wanders off and gets on a bus. Thankfully, a member of the police spots him and takes him to the station. They then track the parents down, as there has been no reports of a missing child. So you must be talking well over an hour - and still the parents were seemingly not bothered where their small child was. Real Ale Up North
  • Score: 6

7:49am Sat 14 Jun 14

Loopypoo1 says...

Real Ale Up North wrote:
The parents obviously didn't have a clue where he was - and were obviously not bothered. He has probably been playing out for a while. Then he wanders off and gets on a bus. Thankfully, a member of the police spots him and takes him to the station. They then track the parents down, as there has been no reports of a missing child. So you must be talking well over an hour - and still the parents were seemingly not bothered where their small child was.
Exactly my thoughts. When I leave my children with a babysitter (which apparently is the excuse) I ring/txt every half hour to see how they're doing.
No fault but they're own! Poor boy, I hope they have come to their senses and never leave him again.
[quote][p][bold]Real Ale Up North[/bold] wrote: The parents obviously didn't have a clue where he was - and were obviously not bothered. He has probably been playing out for a while. Then he wanders off and gets on a bus. Thankfully, a member of the police spots him and takes him to the station. They then track the parents down, as there has been no reports of a missing child. So you must be talking well over an hour - and still the parents were seemingly not bothered where their small child was.[/p][/quote]Exactly my thoughts. When I leave my children with a babysitter (which apparently is the excuse) I ring/txt every half hour to see how they're doing. No fault but they're own! Poor boy, I hope they have come to their senses and never leave him again. Loopypoo1
  • Score: 3

9:59am Sat 14 Jun 14

Champagne plus charlie says...

Lisaanne1987 wrote:
Or maybe the mother had left him with a babysitter while she took her mum to a hospital appointment did you ever think of that instead oh no let's slate the parents
Great response, so its the babysitters fault then?
He should NEVER EVER be playing out on his own on the streets - he is four years old for crying out loud! Also isn't this the same child that fell out of a top floor window recently?
Who's fault was that then?
[quote][p][bold]Lisaanne1987[/bold] wrote: Or maybe the mother had left him with a babysitter while she took her mum to a hospital appointment did you ever think of that instead oh no let's slate the parents[/p][/quote]Great response, so its the babysitters fault then? He should NEVER EVER be playing out on his own on the streets - he is four years old for crying out loud! Also isn't this the same child that fell out of a top floor window recently? Who's fault was that then? Champagne plus charlie
  • Score: 11

10:55pm Sat 14 Jun 14

johnley says...

I did the same thing when i was very young, must of been 4 or 5. I lived in burnleywood at the time 1961 . What my point is, it dose happen, kids unsupervised will wonder off. and give the bus driver a brake, if the child as mingled with other passengers, how can the bus driver know hows child it belong to. again, thank god all turned out good for the family.
I did the same thing when i was very young, must of been 4 or 5. I lived in burnleywood at the time 1961 . What my point is, it dose happen, kids unsupervised will wonder off. and give the bus driver a brake, if the child as mingled with other passengers, how can the bus driver know hows child it belong to. again, thank god all turned out good for the family. johnley
  • Score: 1

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