As a parent, that is entirely your choice but is there any need to spread fear around?And as much as I promote his independence, I would never let him walk to school alone.
Please define "young". Young as in 2 or young as in 8 or young as in 10?And, I've also wondered if it's legal. There are rules about this in HK - about young kids being on their own at home/in public. I think parents can be dragged to court for negligence especially if something (even an accident) happened to them.
I have a feeling you've been reading too many UK and US based rags; I've been here for a very long timeand have never heard nor seen any such thing. I have seen these type of stories hyped up in Daily Mail and CNN, but not in Hong Kong.