Hertfordshire Police received 29 reports of child abduction offenses over a two-year period, the latest figures have revealed.
The force confirmed that of the incidents between June 2019 and June 2021, 22 were reports of child abduction and seven were attempted child abduction.
Five are said to have taken place in Watford – more than any other part of Hertfordshire – including three this year.
There was also one in St Albans, two in Hemel Hempstead and another in Abbots Langley.
Watford Chief Inspector Ian Grout, referring to the town incidents, said: ‘While it would be inappropriate for us to comment on the individual circumstances of each case as they are complex, I would like to reassure the community that none of these cases child or adolescent taken by a stranger against his will.
“In all the incidents, the parties involved knew each other, either because they were in a relationship or because they had a family / friend link.
“All the children involved were protected and supported.”
A spokeswoman confirmed that one of the Watford incidents, which occurred in March this year, resulted in a man being charged and investigations are ongoing.
In October 2019, another incident resulted in a charge and conviction.
Two more occurred in January and April this year, but no further action is taken due to “obvious difficulties,” according to the force.
The fifth case took place in July 2019, in which a man was arrested and then released without charge after the victim’s family withdrew their support for the police action.
CI Grout said: “Fortunately, cases of stranger abduction of children are very rare in the UK, but on the sad occasions they do occur, they rightly generate enormous public interest. and the media.
“We have a dedicated team of police officers, detectives and investigators on our child protection team, who are dedicated to doing everything in their power to protect the children of Hertfordshire. ”
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This notice was published: 2021-07-24 07:00:00