Man freed over child abduction attempts

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Drink-driver fined £700

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A POTENTIAL kidnapper believed to have made two attempts to abduct children in 24 hours is still at large.

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

Police say they are now following up other leads in the case.

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 about 1.50pm on Tuesday.

The man grabbed her arms with both hands and told her to go with him, but she managed to break free and flee.

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

He was about to cross the road when a man got out of a red van and grabbed him by the wrist.

The schoolboy shouted, screamed and pinched the man and managed to escape after he eventually let go.

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ‘Detectives continue to investigate active lines of inquiry.

‘Police would ask the public to remain alert, but not alarmed, and to ask parents to continue to remind their children of the “stranger danger” message and to report any incidents to us.’

Emsworth ward councillor Richard Galloway said: ‘I’m sure the police will be doing everything they can to catch the perpetrator.

‘It’s a horrible thing to happen, especially at this time of year.

‘Emsworth is a very safe place. I have not come across anything like this since I have been a councillor.’

The man who attempted to abduct the girl has tanned skin, is aged in his 40s and is 6ft tall with a round face, blue eyes and short, thick black hair. He has a recent scratch on his lift cheek and spoke with a northern accent.

The man wore a thick, black coat down to his knees, light blue jeans and muddy, steel toe-capped boots.

In the second incident the man was tanned and in his late 40s. He wore jeans with a hole in the knee and black boots.

The van was dark red with a sliding back door and blacked-out windows.