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Man bailed after questioning

A 43-year-old man from Hastings in Sussex who was questioned by police over two attempted child abductions has been released on bail until February while police make further inquiries.

Hampshire Police are calling on motorists from Sussex to come forward with any information about two attempted child abductions in Havant on 18th and 19th December. The first incident was in Leigh Park, the second in Emsworth.

A priority is identifying and talking with two motorists who we believe are vital witnesses to the second attempted abduction in Emsworth.

It is possible these motorists were commuters travelling into or out of Sussex, particularly Chichester, on Wednesday morning.

The 11-year-old victim told police that drivers sounded their horns at him when he ran into traffic to get away from his attempted abductor. If you were driving a gold-coloured Mini-style car or similar model, or a blue Vauxhall, in Southleigh Road in Emsworth at around 8.30am on 19th December 2012, please contact police."

– Detective Inspector Jeff Huggett, Waterlooville CID.

So far, police have received 45 calls from the public and spoken with 40 motorists. In a statement, Hampshire Police said the arrest and bailing of one man was one of many leads being followed. They said there were other important witnesses they hoped to speak to.

A team of officers and staff continue to work extra shifts this weekend to gather and analyse information about the circumstances of both attempted abductions and the identity of whoever was responsible. We would like to thank colleagues in Sussex Police for their assistance.

I would like to express my thanks to both children and their families after such an upsetting experience. Police are grateful to them and the parents for their time, co-operation and composure during a series of events that have disrupted their lives so close to Christmas."

– Detective Inspector Jeff Huggett

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