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Norwich child snatch report was made up

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:18 01 July 2010

Police say reports of a child snatcher were made up.

Police say reports of a child snatcher were made up.

Ben Kendall

Police have confirmed that an attempted child abduction report which caused widespread concern in Norwich was made up.

Parents and children were last week warned to be vigilant after a series of reported attempted abductions in the West Earlham area.

Police have confirmed that an attempted child abduction report which caused widespread concern in Norwich was made up.

Parents and children were last week warned to be vigilant after a series of reported attempted abductions in the West Earlham area.

But Norfolk police have now confirmed that the most serious report, in which a 10-year-old claimed a man tried to physically pull him into his vehicle, was fabricated. Two other incidents, in which children claim a man pulled over in his car and tried to talk to them in a suspicious manner, are still being investigated.

Police patrols were stepped up and schools sent out warning letters following the reports. A Facebook group for concerned residents attracted more than 600 members before yesterday's statement was issued.

A police spokesman said: “A very serious report was made on June 9 by a young male who claimed an attempt had been made to pull him into a vehicle. Further enquiries have been made and the youngster involved has now admitted to police this incident did not happen and that his story was untrue.

“Words of advice have been given to the youngster about the seriousness of making a false report to police. Officers will also be contacting the schools and parents who may have been concerned by the alleged incident, to reassure them this was fabricated.”

But the force said it was always useful to remind the public of the importance of not accepting lifts from strangers and to follow simple advice:

t Tell your child to avoid talking to people they do not know when you are not around

t Make sure your child knows never to walk away with anyone without first telling the person in charge

t Make sure your child understands that they should always tell you if a stranger approaches, and never to keep this secret

t If your child has to use a lift - tell them only to use lifts with friends, and not to feel worried about getting out if they are uncomfortable about someone else being in there

t Have your children learn their address and telephone number by heart.

t Do you have a crime story for the Evening News? Contact Ben Kendall on 01603 772423 or email ben.kendall@archant.co.uk

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