Abduction latest: answers lie in community

Det Ch Insp Joanne McHugh at the scene of the abduction

Det Ch Insp Joanne McHugh at the scene of the abduction

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A chief inspector leading an inquiry into the shocking abduction of a Burnley girl (6) says she is confident the answers lie within the community.

Chief Insp. Joanne McHugh is urging anybody with information to step forward after a youngster was taken on a three-mile journey from Burnley to Hapton yesterday.

The little girl was playing out on her bike when she was taken from Nairne Street, near to Coal Clough High School, just after 4-10pm. It is understood she has spoken to the man, before being driven off in a black vehicle.

About 20 minutes later she has been found in a “distressed” state by members of the public in Whitefield Street, Hapton. She has since been reunited with her mum.

Chief Insp. McHugh said: “We believe the information is out there in the community and we will be able, through the public, to identify the man responsible for this.

“This is an extremely worrying, and we are taking this offence very seriously.

“We believe he has done a three-point turn before leaving shortly after 4-10pm. We appeal to any witnesses to come forward to give us investigation - this was a sunny afternoon, and there will have been plenty of people about.

“This is extremely distressing for the family, and it is important we find the man responsible so that they can go about their own lives.”

It is not believed the man was known to the little girl.

He is described as white, with a tanned complexion. He is believed to be aged in his 40s and is bald.

Anybody with information can contact 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.