‘Abduction’ pair tried to help girl

The scene of the reported attempted child abduction in Topping Street. Police say no crime was committed and Det Insp Becky Smith (below) said the matter was now closed.
The scene of the reported attempted child abduction in Topping Street. Police say no crime was committed and Det Insp Becky Smith (below) said the matter was now closed.
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TWO people arrested on suspicion of attempted child abduction on a busy shopping street in Blackpool have been released without charge.

Police have confirmed no action will be taken against the man and woman who were quizzed by detectives investigating the alleged attempted abduction of a three-year-old girl on Topping Street, central Blackpool.

Det Insp Becky Smith

Det Insp Becky Smith

The youngster’s grandmother had contacted the police with concerns about a woman trying to grab the girl’s hand outside The Salad Bowl grocery shop.

But police say the incident was a “misunderstanding”.

Det Insp Becky Smith, from Blackpool CID, said: “We identified the two people who we wanted to speak to in connection with this incident and their version of events has been corroborated with a number of other witnesses we were able to trace.

“We have spoken to the little girl’s grandmother who is happy with the outcome and the matter has now been closed.”

Police appealed for witnesses and released CCTV images of a man and woman they wanted to speak to in connection with their investigation following the incident on September 4.

Officers had been told a man and woman had approached the girl, who is from the Blackpool area, and began speaking to her before the woman tried to take hold of the girl’s hand.

The pair then left the area after the grandmother intervened.

An 18-year-old woman and 22-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of attempted child abduction two days later.

But police say they have established the couple had begun talking to the child because they thought she needed help to find her guardian.

A police spokesman said: “They thought she had wandered off and the little girl was not with anyone. They were concerned about the child and attempted to reunite her with her guardian.

“It was a misunderstanding.”

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