Police warned parents to be “extra vigilant with their children” as they appealed for help finding a suspect after a young girl was allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted in the Manchester area.
Officers believe the girl, six, was abducted by a man on Warne Avenue, Droylsden, at around 4pm on Wednesday, before she was led down a path towards a football field and allegedly assaulted.
She was reunited with her family a short time later and is receiving support from specialist officers.
At Warne Avenue on Thursday, Tameside Police Det Supt Richard Hunt said: “What I can say, he’s obviously grabbed a child and what I would say to members of the public is that they need to be extra vigilant.
“A child was playing in this area and a chap who was hanging around has taken a child and thankfully within a few minutes we’ve got her back.
“Parents need to consider the circumstances of what I have mentioned and I would suggest they need to be extra vigilant with their children whilst we progress this as quickly as possible.”
He added: “I’m appealing for information in relation to the abduction of a child where the victim was quickly located and is receiving specialist support.
“At (4.20pm) yesterday we were contacted in relation to a six-year-old child being abducted, this little girl turned seven very soon.
“This incident started on a grassed area between Warne Avenue and Hawthorn Road in Droylsden at around 4pm.
“From this green area is a path leading to a football field, and that is between Heron Drive and Brendon Drive.
“We suspect that the offender walked with the child across this area where we believe he sexually assaulted her.
“The offender appears to have been hanging around the area prior to the offence and afterwards he made his way through the paths and streets of the Snipe Estate possibly in the direction of Openshaw.
“You will have seen footage in the press and if you haven’t, can I please ask you to look at these images to try and identify the person, who we are keen to speak to.”
He urged members of the public to check their CCTV, dashcam and doorbell footage for video that might assist the investigation, and asked them not to speculate on social media.
He added: “Obviously we are keen to speak to this male, described in the footage. He is a white man, aged in his 20s, dark trousers, a dark jacket, which at one point was worn around his waist and dark shoes or trainers, we can’t say for certain, with a white rim around the sole.
“A man was arrested, he is not the man in the image, he has assisted with our inquiries and has now been released with no further action.”
He said extra police officers are patrolling the area but said it appears to be an “isolated incident”.
Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 9262.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe