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Police 'taking seriously' reports of young boy taken away in van

Police are taking "extremely seriously" a report of a child being taken into a van before it drove off.

But the Surrey force has not received any reports of missing children and have ruled a van captured on CCTV out of their inquiries.

Officers are now looking for a similar vehicle as they try to establish the identity of the child who a witness reported got into a van in Redhill on Thursday.

A Surrey Police spokesman said: "A large police operation involving a significant number of officers and other police resources has been taking place overnight to trace the van and to establish the identity of the child.

"Reports of this nature involving children are extremely rare, which is why we are treating it so seriously."

A boy of around six or seven was reported to have been seen being taken into the side of a black Volkswagen Transporter with an 02 licence plate in Redhill at 4.43pm on Thursday.

The boy was described as white and around 4ft, wearing a red T-shirt and navy jeans. No parent has reported a child matching that description as missing.

Police are now looking for a black, modified VW Transporter van with an 02 registration plate and chrome side steps. It has three BBS-make alloy wheels, with the front nearside missing, no rear windows, and no writing on the side.

A mountain bike believed to belong to the child was left behind at the scene.

Police are appealing for anyone who was in Redstone Hill at around 4.30pm to 5pm on Thursday or who recognises the mountain bike and may have seen who was riding it to get in touch.

A spokesman said: "Local residents may be particularly concerned, but we hope our response reassures people how seriously we take any such reports of suspicious behaviour - our officers continue to work on this investigation and we will update on any further developments."

Anyone with any information should contact Surrey Police by calling 999 in an emergency or 101, or report it online at quoting Operation Bigfoot.

Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


From Belfast Telegraph