VISITS to shopping malls are not generally fraught with peril - for most of us.

Usually, the worst predicament to arise is a longer-than-expected queue, or not having the right change to pay for parking.

But for one family at the West 12 centre in Shepherd's Bush, a fairly mundane excursion late one Tuesday evening resulted in a near-catastrophe , when one of their two young boys managed to get around the child safety guard on the outside of a long escalator. Within seconds, he had been whisked to the top and his life was in very real danger. Thankfully, one security guard spotted the potential disaster on CCTV and was quick-witted enough to radio through to colleague Safdar Abbas, who sprinted the length of the mall in the nick of time to catch the falling youngster.

Replays of the heroic intervention suggest that had Mr Abbas not been there, the nature of the boy's plunge is likely to have resulted in very serious injury or worse.

It can be easy to overlook the work of those whose job it is to ensure our safety in what appear to be the least dangerous of public environments. When freak situations like this do occur, we are lucky to have the likes of Mr Adnan and Mr Abbas.  .