Extra patrols and door-to-door enquiries after ‘kidnap attempt’ on schoolgirl

Kylemore Avenue, where the schoolgirl was targeted (Pic: Google)
Kylemore Avenue, where the schoolgirl was targeted (Pic: Google)

Police investigating an alleged attempted kidnapping have urged parents to remain vigilant.

A manhunt was launched after two men shouted at a third to bundle 12-year-old Annabelle Adamthwaite-Smith into a silver minivan at the weekend.

Police patrols have been stepped up, and door-to-door enquiries have been carried out.

Sgt Iain Andrew, of Blackpool Police, said officers continue to probe the suspicious activity, and said he understood that people are going to be ‘alarmed and concerned.’

He said: “We would like to reassure people that we take all reports like this seriously, and it is being thoroughly investigated.

“Neighbourhood policing officers have been, and will continue to be, in contact with people in the area, and parents are reminded to be vigilant at all times.”

Annabelle, who lives with her family in Valentia Road, close to North Shore Golf Club, was left shaken up after Sunday evening’s failed abduction, which reportedly happened at around 5.30pm.

The Hodgson Academy pupil ran home after the men drove slowly past her in Kylemore Avenue.

She told police they pulled over and ordered a man in the street to ‘get her in the van’.

Horrified mum Kellie, 42, said: “She came running through the door, shaking and in floods of tears. She just threw herself at me,” she said. “She was very shaken up. She will never forget this.”

Officers are understood to be looking into reports the silver minivan also approached young girls in Central Drive and Talbot Road.

They have checked CCTV footage while patrols have been out looking for the vehicle.

Kellie said the men were in their 20s. The van’s passenger was described as having short brown hair, while the man on the street was wearing a black track-suit with orange stripes.

Sgt Mario Fa added: “Our investigation into this incident continues and today there will be extra officers in the area to reassure residents. They will be carrying out further house to house enquiries and looking for any CCTV that might assist us.”

Call 101, quoting log reference number 1143 of September 4 with any information.

It can also be reported to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.