‘Child snatcher’ warning: Three reports across Manchester within hours

Suspected child snatchers have reportedly been targeting children in broad daylight in Manchester.

One man driving an old-type Land Rover or Range Rover was seen approaching children in the Abbey Hey area, shortly after 3:50pm on October 17, asking them ‘where they live’. 

The man was described as black and about 40 with short dark hair.

A similar incident took place shortly after 5pm involving two men that appeared to be driving an old, dark green, small hatchback, similar in size to a Nissan Micra or VW Polo.

Detective Inspector Mark Hudson of Greater Manchester Police, said: “Thankfully, no attempt has been made to grab or physically harm any of the children, however, they, their families and no doubt the communities will be concerned about this.”

Police also received reports of the men speaking to an 11-year-old girl while she was jogging, telling her ‘they had been sent to take her home.’ Neither men were seen outside of the vehicle at any point.

The two suspects were described as being in their 30s, one with long black hair, clean shaven and the other of similar appearance.

Later that evening, it was reported that a man on a swing had taken pictures of young girls in Clayton Memorial Park shortly after 7:10pm on his phone, before following them when they walked off.

He is described as black and had stubble or a short beard and was wearing a red cap. He told children in the park he was a 12-year-old and appeared confused.

“We will brief officers in the relevant neighbourhoods and keep an eye out for people and vehicles matching the descriptions,” Det Insp Hudson added.

“We are keeping an open mind about these incidents, which at the moment amount to suspicious activity.”

Police are now encouraging parents to be extra vigilant in dealing with the safety of their children.

Det Insp Hudson said: “The children have done exactly the right thing in telling parents and the police.

“These incidents act as a reminder that children should not talk to strangers and I would encourage parents to talk to their kids about this and to stress that if they approached in this manner to simply walk away and tell an adult.”

Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.

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