Police investigate suspected attempted abduction of six-year-old in south London

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A man attempted to lure a six-year-old boy into a van with sweets and drinks, police said.

Scotland Yard said the child was approached by a man who spoke to him over a garden wall at an address in Clarence Avenue, Balham, on Thursday at around 4.30pm.

The boy ran back inside the house in south west London and alerted his mother after the man said he had sweets and drinks in his van, and an attempted abduction investigation has been launched.

Detective Sergeant Mark Pascall said: “Incidents of this nature are very rare and in this instance the boy was not harmed at all.

“Nonetheless, I completely understand the concern it has caused both the boy’s family and the community, and can assure local people that we are taking this incident very seriously.”

The mother did not see the man or the van, but the boy described him as brown, about 5ft 6in, with black hair, wearing a blue blazer and black trousers.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.