Parents warned: Police hunt after man tries to snatch child in Brick Lane
- Credit: Met Police
Parents have been alerted after a man tried to abduct a child off the streets on the way home from school in the Brick Lane area.
Police are stepping up patrols around school pick-up and drop-off times to reassure the community around the Spitalfields and Bethnal Green areas close to Brick Lane.
The suspect is said to have followed the boy before trying to grab him on Friday evening (June 25).
But the boy was with two other family members and they were all able to get to a family friend’s home nearby, where they alerted the police at around 6.40pm.
The child is unharmed and with his family and officers are supporting them.
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Police are “not aware of any similar or connected incidents” and are keeping an open mind about the motive behind the incident, Scotland Yard has confirmed.
“Detectives are following several active lines of enquiry,” police told the East London Advertiser in a statement.
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“We are aware that imagery relating to this incident may have been shared on social media in an attempt to alert other parents.”
Officers are sifting through CCTV footage from cameras in the area - around that part of Spitalfields and Bethnal Green - in an effort to identify the man.
The suspect is described as Asian appearance, in his 20s or 30s, and wearing a navy jumper, black jeans, black trainers and a black hat at the time of last Friday evening’s incident.
“We have increased a high visibility presence in the area at key times,” a Scotland Yard spokesman told the paper. “This includes school drop-off and pick-up times to reassure the community and ensure that any further potential crime is disrupted.”
Anyone with information about the incident has been asked to call police on 101 or tweet MetCC, with the reference 6617/25JUN, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
But in an emergency or life-threatening incident, people should dial 999.
The Met police have specially trained officers in a new programme to help young children across in London protect themselves from danger.
Safer schools and neighbourhood officers are working with Action Against Abduction charity to help youngsters recognise "situations that could be unsafe" and know what to do to protect themselves.