Oxford

Girl abducted walking to school in Oxford

  • 29 September 2016
  • From the section Oxford
Police in abduction investigation
Image caption Police have been searching streets in Oxford

A teenage girl walking to school was abducted by two men and subjected to a serious sexual assault.

The girl, who was wearing a school uniform, was grabbed near Marston Ferry Road and Banbury Road in Oxford at 08:25 BST on Wednesday.

She was driven away by two white men in a silver car and found more than three hours later about a mile away, knocking on doors and seeking help.

Police warned children walking to school to stay in groups.

Supt Christian Bunt, of Thames Valley Police, said: "I would ask parents to consider the safety of their children and if they are walking to school make sure they try to keep in groups.

"I would also ask people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious."

'Parents' nightmare'

The girl was found at midday by officers on Cavendish Drive after she knocked on doors in the area.

Police forensics teams have been examining the street for evidence.

Image caption Police forensics teams have been examining the street where the girl was found

Ward councillor Elizabeth Wade called it a "shocking" attack.

She added: "I know the whole community will be very concerned about the girl herself and other young people in the community.

"There are a lot of schools hereā€¦ throughout the day there are children coming and going.

"It's always been a very comfortable place to be and now we've got every parents' nightmare."

Image caption The abduction took place in a busy part of Oxford during rush hour

She described the area as "incredibly busy and a major crossing between two bits of Oxford [so] it should have been a completely safe place for this girl to be".

Ms Wade advised children to look out for each other "at least until whoever perpetrated this terrible thing has been caught".

Image caption She was located at Cavendish Drive after she knocked on doors in the area

Det Ch Insp Simon Steel, who is leading the investigation, said: "I would appreciate the public's help in relation to this very serious incident.

"This happened in what would have been a very busy area at this time of the day and I appeal to anybody who was in that area... to call police immediately.

"It is possible you may have witnessed this incident and may not have realised the severity of the situation."

Police said they are "stepping up patrols in the area to provide reassurance and there will be a very visible police presence whilst the investigation continues".


At the scene - BBC reporter Kate Gibson

Image caption Police warned children around Marston Ferry Road and Banbury Road to stay in groups

I'm standing in the area where police say the abduction took place. It happened during rush hour in a busy part of the city.

Police say people may have witnessed the abduction but not realised what was going on or just how serious the situation was.

I've seen police vans go past me so hopefully people will feel reassured by the number of police out this morning.

The girl is now being supported by specially-trained officers.

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