The Only Thing to Fear Is Fear. And Peedo Charges. And Aliens. And...
@ Mike Taylor: "I have never met anyone who wouldn't help a lost child "for fear of being branded a paedo", but I've met a lot of people who think this is a common fear."
I've been in this position last year. I looked out of my living room window, and saw a young child (nappy-age) wandering up the street unaccompanied. I ran out the house, and, halfway to the child realised what a compromising position I was putting myself in - I would be in the street with a young child that wasn't mine, away from his parents, without their knowledge or consent. Kidnapping / Peeedoo charges, anyone? As it happened, I "shepherded" him back down the street from the direction whence he came, without touching him in any way (keeping an obvious 3-foot+ distance at all times) hoping like hell that I'd meet his parents. As it happened, I did. (Or at least, I *HOPE* that it was his mother...)
It is a real fear.
I also to help instruct martial arts, I made a very, very firm rule long ago that I will not teach anyone under the age of 18. No f*cking way. It's a real shame, because I started training at 11, and I think martial arts are great for kids, but there ain't no way I'm gonna show a 12yo how to grapple!!!
(PS "oop north" argument? Pah. I'm from Canada, you Tykes are all southerners to me!!)