Attempted kidnap of Ripon child

Sgt Andrew Tiffany, above, says parents must remain vigilant.
Sgt Andrew Tiffany, above, says parents must remain vigilant.
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Parents are being urged to be extra vigilant following the attempted abduction of a three-year-old girl in Ripon.

On the afternoon of Saturday, June 29, the girl was playing with her eight-year-old brother in the garden of her home on Cedar Close in the south of the city when it is alleged a man grabbed her arm over the fence.

An adult male member of the public saw the incident and called out to the suspect, who then got into a small black car and drove away from the scene.

Sgt Andrew Tiffany, of Ripon police, told the Gazette local people must be vigilant and report any sightings of a small black car acting suspiciously in the area to the police. He also urged the unidentified witness who called out to the alleged offender to come forward with any information he may have.

“We are dealing with it as a serious incident,” Sgt Tiffany said. “An adult witness who we haven’t identified has got really vital information. We are urging that person to come forward as we need to identify the offender and find out exactly what has gone on.”

Officers also believe two local girls witnessed what happened and they are also urged to contact the police.

The attempted kidnap follows a similar incident in the Harrogate district last month.

A 12-year-old boy was approached by a man in Killinghall on Tuesday, June 18. The man shouted at the boy, who was walking to school at around 8.45am, to get into his car. The boy fled, and the incident was reported to the police, and now officers are trying to trace the man to find out more about what happened.

North Yorkshire Police said they were not linking the two incidents.

Parents in the district have expressed their concerns about the abduction attempts, with one mother posting on Facebook that the attempted abduction in Ripon suggested “a determined prowler on the look out, but one who will go one step further than the normal. It’s very worrying”.

- Anyone with information about the attempted abduction in Ripon should contact police on 101, select option 2, and ask for PC Ian Grange.