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Appeal launched after attempted abduction of 11-year-old boy

By PA News

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Police are appealing for information (Nick Ansell/PA)

Police have launched an appeal following the attempted abduction of an 11-year-old boy in south-east London.

The boy was walking home from school in Whitmore Road in Beckenham on Friday afternoon, when two men in a small black van asked him if he wanted a lift, the Metropolitan Police said.

The force said the boy ran into a park and was chased by them, before the boy informed two other men that he was being followed.

The two suspects then left the scene before the victim ran home and alerted his parents.

The boy was not physically harmed but was left very shaken by the incident, the force said.

It appears to be linked to an incident involving the son of Sherise Blackman, who played cop Ruby Jones in BBC series Line Of Duty.

Ms Blackman said in a post on Instagram this weekend that her son was followed by “hooded men” on foot and another in a car in Beckenham on Friday.

She said her son was left “shaken up” by the incident.

Her post continued: “This is real and very serious, we have reported to the police but please keep your kids close and talk to them about these dangers.”

On Tuesday, Ms Blackman posted that a full investigation has been launched, adding: “The power of social media! Sometimes it can work for good!”

Superintendent Andy Brittain, from the South Area BCU, which covers the Bromley borough, said the police’s initial response was “not sufficient”.

He added: “The matter was reviewed and detectives are carrying out further investigation which remains ongoing. CCTV of the area is currently being reviewed to identify any possible suspects.

“Detectives have been in touch with the boy’s parents to update them on the investigation so far, and will continue to keep them informed of any developments.

“I want to reassure the boy’s parents and the wider community that this incident is being fully investigated to establish the full circumstances of what happened.”

He added: “I would also appeal to anyone who witnessed this incident to come forward and speak to officers, especially the two men playing tennis that the victim approached for help.”

On Sunday, police officers attended the victim’s address and spoke to his family.

One of the males is described as white, approximately 5ft 10in, while the second suspect is described as 6ft.

The Met said that no arrests have been made but inquiries continue.

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