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Fears for safety of teenager

PUBLISHED: 09:36 13 February 2009 | UPDATED: 07:58 01 August 2010

A FAMILY has been left concerned for their 15-year-old daughter's safety after a man driving down King's Dam in Gillingham tried to pull her into his vehicle as she walked home from school, it was claimed this week.

A FAMILY has been left concerned for their 15-year-old daughter's safety after a man driving down King's Dam in Gillingham tried to pull her into his vehicle as she walked home from school, it was claimed this week.

The alleged attempted abduction took place on February 5, a week ago yesterday, and police are now looking for a 30 to 50 year old man, described as bald and with glasses, in connection with the incident.

The girl, who cannot be named, said she was first approached by the man the night before, Wednesday February 4.

She was on her way home down King's Dam, having been dropped off by her school bus in Loddon Road, when he pulled up in a bright red car and asked her if she would like a lift home.

She refused and carried on walking, but the following morning saw the same car sitting and waiting as she went to school. The car then quickly drove off.

On the evening of the same day, as she again made her way home down King's Dam, the man stopped in almost exactly the same place and tried to grab her and pull her into the car. She managed to break free and run home, which was about two minutes away.

The girl, who cannot be named, was left severely shaken, and for this reason the incident was only reported to the police by her father the following morning.

“I've been going home early from work to get her off the bus in the evenings,” said her father. “Even now when she's out you can see her looking around.”

The girl's brother has spoken out against Norfolk police for how they have handled the matter, which he described as “completely unacceptable.”

The police officer, from Norfolk Police, was forced to cancel his initial meeting with the girl as he was called out to another incident on the Friday evening.

He said that he is very worried for his sister's safety whilst the man is still at large. “My sister is left scared and the person is still free to look for other young children in the area,” he said. “She is now extremely cautious of everybody she sees and does not want to go out.”

Harry Mitchell, head of news at Norfolk Police, said: “The incident involved was reported to police the day after it had occurred and whilst important, it was appropriate for a scheduled appointment to be made and this was arranged.

“In some circumstances officers are unable to attend that scheduled appointment because they are deployed to an emergency (Grade A) incident, often triggered by a 999 call. This was the case here and whilst this can be frustrating for the individuals involved, an emergency will take precedence over a scheduled appointment.

“An officer attended a further scheduled appointment with the family and the matter continues to be investigated.”

Norfolk Police yesterday were unable to confirm the details of this incident as the officer involved was on leave.

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