1. ITV Report

Man arrested after false 'boy bundled into van' claim

The van police initially believed was connected to the alleged abduction. Credit: Surrey Police

A man has been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in the investigation into a 'boy bundled into a van' in Surrey.

Surrey Police said the initial witness account reported that a young boy was seen being taken into a black VW Transporter van between 4.20pm and 4.40pm on Redstone Hill, Redhill on Thursday afternoon.

Officers said they had no reason to disbelieve the account of the witness and had to act quickly in order to prevent what was suspected to be a risk to the life of a child.

But since then, officers carried out a thorough investigation into this report and could not find any evidence to corroborate it.

The risk to life and safeguarding children are our first priorities when presented with a report like this which is why we took the course of action we did.

Time was of the essence which is why we asked for help from the public and media to find out what happened as soon as we could.

Reports of this nature are extremely rare and we are the sure the public understand that when information such as this is received we treat it extremely seriously and must do all we can to find out investigate what’s happened.

The witness has been re-interviewed at length about their account and at this stage and as a result of our enquires no further information has come to light to corroborate the report.

– Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Pete Fulton
Police subsequently released these images of a VW Transporter T4 van believed to be involved in the incident. Credit: Surrey Police

Surrey Police said there was no report of any missing child in connection with the case and we have carried out extensive enquiries.

Police reviewed hours of CCTV from across the area, carrying out house to house enquiries, talking to commuters at the railway station, checking potential vehicles matching the description and missing children databases, receiving more than 100 calls from members of the public in less than 24 hours, all of which takes a significant amount of time.

The man has been released on bail.