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Rape probe schoolgirl 'was not snatched off street'

Published 11/11/2016

Officers say evidence shows the girl was not abducted
Officers say evidence shows the girl was not abducted

Police investigating a 14-year-old schoolgirl's claims that she was abducted and raped have now ruled out that she was snatched off the street.

The girl told investigators that she was made to get into a hatchback car as she walked in Banbury Road in Summertown, Oxford, on September 28.

Inside the car, she said a second man was waiting and she was raped. Now, Thames Valley Police have announced "the evidence gathered indicates that the reported abduction did not take place".

Officers are still investigating a claim of rape, a police spokesman said.

Police said they had carried out a "thorough review", including sifting through CCTV and dash-cam footage, as well as gathering witness statements.

E-fit images of two men investigators wanted to trace in connection with the report were publicly issued a fortnight after the girl came forward.

A police spokesman said: "Thames Valley Police continue to investigate an offence of rape against the victim and are following all lines of inquiry to establish what has taken place.

"Specially trained officers and staff from the police, Oxfordshire County Council children's services, health and other agencies continue to work with the victim, at her pace."

Superintendent Joe Kidman, local police commander for Oxford city, said the incident had caused "a great deal of community concern" but that such reports were rare.

Mr Kidman said: "In the weeks after the incident higher-visibility patrols were in place to provide reassurance and gather information.

"We have worked with schools in the area on their security plans and are ready to respond to concerns raised.

"Working with vulnerable and young victims is an extremely complex and lengthy process, and it is paramount that they are protected appropriately."

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