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Manhunt after attempted child abductions in Greater Manchester

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Police are investigating the suspected attempted abductions of three children in Greater Manchester.

A 14-year-old girl was followed by a white Transit-style van as she walked towards an alleyway in Westhoughton, Bolton, shortly after 9.40pm on Monday.

Three people wearing balaclavas then jumped from the van – which had blacked-out windows – and chased her.

She ran to a nearby address then safely walked home, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

The male driver of the van was not wearing a balaclava and is described as white and wearing a coat with a fur-lined hood.

Two 11-year-old children were then targeted in Radcliffe, Bury, shortly after 3.40pm on Tuesday when a white Transit-style van stopped at a set of traffic lights.

A person inside the van demanded the children get inside and one tried to grab one of the children’s coats but missed.

The children, who ran off, described the van as being dirty and rusty with white bumpers and ladders on the roof.

Its rear section had no seating and there was wood in the back.

The driver in the second incident was described as white with tanned or darker-shaded skin and aged between 30 and 40 years old.

He was wearing a black baseball cap, dirty clothes and black trainers, one which had a hole in.

A woman is believed to have witnessed the second attempted abduction and police are urging her and anyone else with information to get in touch.

Chief Inspector Phil Spurgeon, of GMP’s Bury divison, said: “We understand the concern that incidents such as these causes.

“I’d like to reassure the community that we have detectives working on both incidents to establish if they are linked, and to identify the vehicles and occupants involved.

“It is absolutely essential that anyone with information on these two incidents contacts police as a matter of urgency.

“Perhaps you have seen a white van driving suspiciously in the Bolton or Bury area during the last few days.

“Even the smallest piece of information can be enough to help apprehend suspects and solve cases such as these.

“We would particularly like to appeal to a woman whom we believe witnessed the second incident in Radcliffe.”

:: Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 8172 or Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

(c) Sky News 2018: Manhunt after attempted child abductions in Greater Manchester