Manager’s horror at abduction bid

Chris Colling, who is manager of the Salad Bowl on Topping Street in Blackpool, and witnessed the attempted abduction of a three year-old outside his shop last Tuesday.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'7-9-2012
Chris Colling, who is manager of the Salad Bowl on Topping Street in Blackpool, and witnessed the attempted abduction of a three year-old outside his shop last Tuesday. PIC BY ROB LOCK'7-9-2012
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A HORRIFIED manager has today spoken of his shock after an attempted child abduction just yards from his shop.

Christopher Colling, manager of the Salad Bowl on Topping Street, central Blackpool, said he dreads to think what could have happened to the three-year-old girl if her grandmother had not managed to intervene.

Police want to speak to this woman after the attempted abduction of a three-year-old girl outside the Salad Bowl on Topping Street on Tuesday, September 4. 'Police stress this woman is not in trouble at all but they believe she has vital information about the incident.

Police want to speak to this woman after the attempted abduction of a three-year-old girl outside the Salad Bowl on Topping Street on Tuesday, September 4. 'Police stress this woman is not in trouble at all but they believe she has vital information about the incident.

Mr Colling said: “I’ve seen the CCTV and you can see the girl being grabbed and pulled away two or three foot from her grandmother.

“I would hate to think how far she could have gone if it hadn’t caught the grandmother’s eye.”

The terrifying incident happened around 2.20pm on Tuesday.

Police say a man and a woman approached the girl and began speaking to her.

The woman then tried to grab the girl but the pair fled after the grandmother saw what was happening.

Mr Colling added: “A few words were exchanged and then they just went away.

“It all happened so quickly. There must have been around 30 people around at the time, it was really busy.

“You don’t think about these sorts of things happening here.

“It was strange what went on.”

Detectives released CCTV images of a man and woman they want to speak to in connection with the attempted abduction earlier this week.

And today, they released an image of another woman they believe has crucial information about the incident.

Det Insp Becky Smith, from Blackpool CID, said: “I want to stress that this woman is in no trouble whatsoever but I believe she has vital information in relation to this incident.

“I can’t stress enough the importance of this and I really need to speak to this woman which is why we have taken the unusual step to release a CCTV image of her.

“I believe she witnessed the events on Topping Street that afternoon and spoke to the grandmother of the little girl after the incident.

“If anyone knows who this woman is or if in fact she sees this appeal then I would urge her to call me at Blackpool CID on 101.”

Two people were arrested on suspicion of attempted child abduction on Thursday.

The 18-year-old woman and 22-year-old man were released on police bail yesterday pending further enquiries until October 8.