Residents 'shocked' after attempted abduction in south east London

Local residents say the police 'should have told us' about attempted abduction sooner, as Mahatir Pasha reports.

Residents of West Wickham, in south east London, have spoken of their 'shock' over the attempted abduction of an 11-year-old girl.

One local resident told ITV London News, "West Wickham is a lovely area. Something like this is shocking."

Another residents and mother of an 11-year-old also called it shocking, and commented: "it's always been a really safe neighbourhood."

On 24th June 2023, the girl was approached by a man on the high street who tried to convince her to leave with him. A member of the public saw the child looking nervous, and intervened.

While the incident took place in June, the Metropolitan Police made their investigation public two months later, on the 30th August. The police released images of two men they want to identify and speak with in connection with the incident.

The Met police want to speak with the two men pictured about the incident Credit: Met Police

Local resident Sebastian Favata said, "We're talking two months, and they're only just coming out now and saying it?"

"They need to let us know about things."

For other locals, the actions of the anonymous "Good Samaritan" who intervened have reminded them of the importance of community.

Charlotte Lock runs a hair salon next to the shop the two men visited. She has been inspired by the actions of the woman seen on CCTV helping the young girl.

"It’s important that children know that they have got shops that they can run into," she says,.

"You’re always welcome to come in here and take refuge from anything.”

Geoff Newiss, of anti-abduction charity Action Against Abduction, said it was important if any member of the public witnesses a similar incident they should contact the police, and called the actions of the woman who helped "commendable."

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