Manchester

Police probe two child abduction attempts by men in vans

Westhoughton Image copyright Google
Image caption One incident happened in the Westhoughton area of Bolton

Two attempted child abductions involving men travelling in vans are being investigated by police in Greater Manchester.

The first incident saw three balaclava-wearing men chase a 14-year-old girl after jumping out of a white transit van in Westhoughton, Bolton on Monday.

She managed to run to a nearby address.

A boy and a girl, both aged 11, were then approached by a group, also in a white van, in Bury at about 15:40 GMT on Tuesday.

The van stopped at traffic lights in Radcliffe before a person opened its sliding door and demanded the children get inside.

Someone then attempted to grab one of the children's coats before they managed to run away, police said.

Police said they were working to establish if the two incidents were linked, and three men had voluntarily attended a police station in relation to the second incident.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The second incident took place in the Radcliffe area of Bury

The driver of the van in the first incident was described as white and wearing a coat with a fur-lined hood.

The driver in the second incident was described as a white man in his 30s or 40s, with tanned skin, and wearing a black baseball cap, dirty clothes and black trainers.

Ch Insp Phil Spurgeon said: "We understand the concern that incidents such as these causes.

"I'd like to reassure the community that we have detectives working on both incidents to establish if they are linked, and to identify the vehicles and occupants involved.

"It is absolutely essential that anyone with information on these two incidents contacts police as a matter of urgency."

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