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Man arrested over probe into 'young boy taken away in van'

Police investigating the reported abduction of a boy have arrested a man on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

Surrey Police launched an "extensive" investigation and a public appeal after claims that a boy, aged around six or seven, had been taken into a van and abducted in Redhill on Thursday afternoon.

A spokesman said that despite reviewing hours of CCTV, carrying out house-to-house inquiries, talking to commuters at a railway station, checking potential vehicles matching the description and missing children databases, plus receiving more than 100 calls, the investigation "has not brought about any evidence to corroborate" the suspected child abduction claim.

The boy was said to have been wearing a red T-shirt and navy jeans when he was reported to have been taken into the side of a black Volkswagen Transporter van with an 02 licence plate.

Detective Superintendent Pete Fulton, who said police efforts had had taken "a significant amount of time", said: "Time was of the essence, which is why we asked for help from the public and media to find out what happened as soon as we could.

"Reports of this nature are extremely rare and we are the sure the public understand that when information such as this is received we treat it extremely seriously and must do all we can to find out investigate what's happened.

"It is understandable this has caused a considerable amount of concern and confusion in the area which will last beyond just these few days.

"We will continue to work with the community and realise that this has been disruptive and had a large impact; however, I hope that you are reassured that we take your safety extremely seriously.

"The witness has been re-interviewed at length about their account and at this stage and as a result of our inquiries no further information has come to light to corroborate the report.

"There has been no report of any missing child in connection with the case and we have carried out extensive inquiries."

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