Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us Click here for details »
No link between approaches to four children by white van man in Southend, say police
SOUTHEND’S district commander has revealed investigations have concluded there is no link between reports of four children being approached by a man in a white van on one afternoon last month.
Reiterating there is no need for anyone to panic over the reported incidents of young children being approached by a man in Westcliff, Leigh and Eastwood, Chief Insp Matt Bennett said: “Our thorough enquiries into the initial reports have concluded, and we don’t consider them to be linked.
“We have looked at all the facts and don’t feel there is any need for the public to be alarmed.
“The risks are the same as they always have been.
"Child abduction is thankfully extremely rare and our advice is that children should continue to exercise the appropriate stranger danger awareness.”
Mr Bennett said that police are keeping an open mind about some of the reports and want people to come forward if they believe they are in any danger, but added that there had also been false rumours since the initial reports.
He said: “We did a full investigation and spend a lot of time going over the details of all the complaints we have received.
“We only had one report of someone trying to physically grab a child – which the person who reported it later admitted they had fabricated.”
He added: “There was also a rumour on Facebook about a number plate of a van involved. Our investigations found that the number plate isn’t from a van, and the vehicle it is on hasn’t ever been south of Yorkshire.
“Management across Essex Police are aware of the issue and we take seriously any report made to police, but there is no need for anyone to be alarmed.”
Comments are closed on this article.