Sharjah police have arrested a grocery shop worker on charges of child molestation in response to a call from an Al Batina resident.
The resident said her son had complained that the grocer would often try to molest him. At first, she thought her son was making it up, but then her neighbour told her that her nine-year-old son had complained of being molested by the same grocer.
The two women called the police and a patrol was immediately dispatched to the shop. On entering the shop, police officers found both women in a heated dispute with the suspect, who was arrested at once.
News about the molestation and subsequent arrest has people concerned about the danger of leaving young children unattended among strangers, police said.
Police have called on parents to watch over their children and stop them from mingling with older people, especially workers.
They also urged parents to report any absconders, peddlers or beggars behaving suspiciously.
Sharjah has a 24-hour child abuse helpline – 800700 – to enable people to anonymously report child abuse or neglect. Workers at the helpline forward the information to the police and provide the children shelter.
The federal government is planning to make the helpline national.