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Man arrested after abduction attempts

A man has been arrested by Hampshire Police investigating two attempted abductions in Havant. A 43-year-old man from Hastings was arrested on 21st December.

The first attempt was in Leigh Park at 1.50pm on 18th December. A 12-year-old girl was grabbed between Purbrook Way and Middle Park Way.

In a similar incident at about 8.30am on 19th December, a man attempted to grab an 11-year-old boy in Southleigh Road, Emsworth. The boy was about to cross the road when a man left a van and grabbed the boy’s wrist. The boy shouted, screamed and pinched him. The man let go and the boy ran away.

This investigation remains a priority for Hampshire Constabulary with officers and staff working extra shifts over the weekend to pursue lines of enquiry swiftly.

This arrest in Sussex is one of several leads we are following at this time. No one has been charged or convicted. Therefore, police must keep an open mind and ask the public not to reach hasty conclusions while we are gathering and analysing information. I would like to thank our colleagues in Sussex Police for their assistance, and appeal again for members of the public to come forward with any information."

– Detective Inspector Jeff Huggett, senior investigating officer

Police have received no other reports of attempted abductions in Havant and Waterlooville since Wednesday morning. They are not linking this investigation to any other suspicious incidents elsewhere.

Further enquiries identified two specific motorists who could be important witnesses to the second attempted abduction in Southleigh Road in Emsworth. The 11-year-old victim provided more details about two vehicles whose motorists sounded their horns at him when he ran into traffic away from his attempted abductor. We are renewing a direct appeal for the drivers of a gold-coloured Mini-style car or similar model, and a blue Vauxhall, to speak with the police about what they saw. The boy remembers the descriptions of these cars in Southleigh Road at around 8.30am on Wednesday, 19th December."

– Detective Inspector Jeff Huggett

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