Second man arrested after abduction attempts in Havant

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POLICE investigating the attempted abduction of two children in Havant have arrested a second man.

A 43-year-old man from Hastings, in East Sussex, was arrested last night by officers from Hampshire Constabulary.

It comes after someone tried to grab a 12-year-old girl from a path known as the yellow brick road, between Purbrook Way and Middle Park Way in Leigh Park at 1.50pm on Tuesday.

Then a second incident happened at 8.30am on Wednesday in Southleigh Road, Emsworth, when a man tried to grab an 11-year-old boy.

The boy was about to cross the road when a man left a van and grabbed his wrist.

The boy shouted, screamed and pinched the man, who then let go and the boy ran away across the road into the traffic.

Police first arrested a 49-year-old Havant man on Thursday in connection with the two allegations but after questioning he was freed with no further action to be taken.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Jeff Huggett, said: ‘This investigation remains a priority for Hampshire Constabulary with officers and staff working extra shifts over the weekend to pursue lines of enquiry swiftly.

‘This arrest in Sussex is one of several leads we are following at this time.

‘No one has been charged or convicted. Therefore, police must keep an open mind and ask the public not to reach hasty conclusions while we are gathering and analysing information.

‘I would like to thank our colleagues in Sussex Police for their assistance, and appeal again for members of the public to come forward with any information.’

Officers have also renewed their appeal for motorists who were nearby at the time of the incident to come forward and help with the investigation.

Det Insp Jeff Huggett added: ‘Further enquiries identified two specific motorists who could be important witnesses to the second attempted abduction in Southleigh Road in Emsworth.

‘The 11-year-old victim provided more details about two vehicles whose motorists sounded their horns at him when he ran into traffic away from his attempted abductor.

‘We are renewing a direct appeal for the drivers of a gold-coloured Mini-style car or similar model, and a blue Vauxhall, to come forward and speak with the police about what they saw.

‘The boy remembers the descriptions of these cars in Southleigh Road at around 8.30am on Wednesday, December 19.’

Police say they have received no other reports of attempted abductions in Havant and Waterlooville since Wednesday morning.

They are not linking the investigation to any other suspicious incidents elsewhere in Hampshire or the UK.

The second arrest is not connected to Thursday’s arrest of the 49-year-old man who was later released with no charge with no further action to be taken.

Anyone with information should call CID at Waterlooville Police Station on 101, quoting Operation Orris.

You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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