Schools warned after Gosport dad finds missing son, six, in a van with man

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PEOPLE have spoken of their shock after a young boy went missing for more than six hours before his father found him in a van with a man.

The six-year-old disappeared from his home and was only found hours later in The Range car park, Gunners Way, Elson, Gosport.

Detectives from Hampshire police have since warned schools to remind youngsters about keeping safe after the incident.

Teachers at Elson Junior School and other schools in the area have sent out letters to parents about stranger danger.

Ward councillor at Gosport Borough Council Craig Hazel said: ‘It’s shocking to hear that it’s happened in Elson.

‘It’s quite disturbing to even consider that it’s something that would happen.

‘Unfortunately the boy probably didn’t realise the danger that he may have been in.’

The boy’s father called police after finding his son. Hampshire police said it received a report on Saturday, September 27, that a boy had been found in a van.

In a statement a police spokeswoman said officers had interviewed a second child but were now only investigating an offence involving one child.

She said: ‘Safer Neighbourhoods Teams are working with local schools to remind pupils of personal safety advice.

‘Anyone with concerns can contact the team at Gosport police station for advice.

‘Anyone with information which could assist the investigation should contact CID at Fareham police station on 101.

‘Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.’

She added officers are working with schools in the town.

n A 49-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of detaining a child so as to keep him from a person having lawful control.

The man has been bailed and is due to report back to police on December 5.