Oxford

Oxford abduction: Hunt continues for schoolgirl's rapists

Marston Ferry Road / Banbury Road Junction
Image caption There is a continued police presence in the Summertown area of Oxford

Police are following "a number of significant lines of inquiry" after a 14-year-old girl was abducted and raped on her way to school.

The teenager, who was wearing a school uniform, was snatched from Marston Ferry Road in the Summertown area of Oxford on Wednesday morning.

She was driven away by two white men in a small, silver hatchback - possibly a Volkswagen.

Thames Valley Police said finding the car could be "key" to catching them.

Det Supt Chris Ward said:"[We have] received a substantial number of calls in the last 24 hours and we are currently working through the information and following up any significant lines of inquiry," he said.

The force said it was keeping an "open mind" over whether the incident was linked to any other attacks.

Image caption The attack has been described by police as "very, very, very unusual"

The alarm was raised at 08:45 when the girl did not arrive at school.

Police were called at noon to Cavendish Drive where the girl had knocked on doors, by a member of the public.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDet Supt Chris Ward urged people to check dashcam and helmetcam footage

At a press conference on Thursday, it was said the girl was approached and possibly hugged, something that could have looked relatively innocent to witnesses.

"We are slowly and sensitively trying to piece together more information from the victim to aid the investigation," Det Supt Ward said.

Local police commander Supt Christian Bunt said he was putting extra patrols in place.

He added: "We will also be working closely with the local schools to provide information and support."

Motorists with dashcams or cyclists with headcams have been asked to to come forward as the attack only have happened in a "small geographical area", police said.


At the scene - Anna Browning, BBC Oxford

Two days after the abduction a police presence remains in Summertown, a suburb around a mile north of the spires of the Oxford colleges.

It's a wealthy place - house prices match London's and it is home to an artisan baker, coffee shops and a uniform outfitters which serves the myriad of private schools in the area.

"Days ago we believed this was a safe and idyllic place to bring up a family," one mother of a teenage daughter told me, "now that's changed".

Another mother, who knows the victim and her family, told how shocked they were and how violated they felt at having such a terrible thing happen so close to home.

"Everyone understands that this is such a rare occurrence, but still it's forced everyone to re-evaluate how their kids get to school. We expect our kids to be safe."


More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites