A concerned mother has criticised security at Chessington World of Adventures after her four-year-old son was allegedly allowed to wander out of the park gates unattended.

Janet Williams, from Wallington, who was at the park on May 29, said she panicked when she noticed son James had disappeared.

The mother-of-two had stopped to buy a backpack for him at a kiosk close to the exit but, when she turned around, he had gone.

She said: “I was screaming for him everywhere. The first couple of minutes when a child goes missing are very important so I was in a bit of a state.”

A member of staff said he thought the boy had gone to the toilet but a few minutes later she heard her son’s cries.

He had managed to walk through security and into the car park, where a woman found him.

She said: “Thank God a responsible female found him. He could have been picked up by anyone. He was crying his eyes out and I was in a frantic state.

“The security on the entrance is fantastic but it needs to be looked at on the exit.

“I’m very concerned about it. He was only gone about four minutes but that’s not the point. A four-year-old child was allowed to walk out of the park by himself.”

A spokesman for Chessington said the only possible explanation was he walked out with a crowd, although Mrs Williams insisted it was quiet when they left at about 4pm.

A spokesman said: “We do question children when they walk out of the park.

"I’ve witnessed it myself and that’s how staff are trained. I know lone children are questioned but we can’t question every person that walks out the gate.

“As soon as a child is reported missing, staff will implement our well-rehearsed procedures to reunite the child with the family as quickly as possible.

"In this particular case the child was not reported missing.”

The incident happened just two days after glamour model Katie Price visited the park with her children Harvey and Princess Tiaamii.

Security came under fire then for a very different reason – staff were reportedly “aggressive” in providing personal protection for the model.

Mrs Willams said: “I accept it was half term and it’s a busier time for them but they should treat this as a learning curve.”

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