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Police probe attempted abduction of girl, 11, in Coulsdon

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POLICE have upped patrols around schools in Coulsdon after a stranger tried to lure an 11-year-old girl into his car.

The Smitham Primary School pupil was approached at home-time by a white man in a black car, who at first offered her a lift home and, when she said no, said he was her "dad's friend".

The girl said no again and went into a local petrol station before her father arrived and the police were contacted.

Local schools have been alerted and Keston Primary School, in Old Coulsdon, sent out a letter warning parents, which went viral on Facebook.

Robin Gibbs, 52, from Coulsdon, who has two children at Smitham, in Portnalls Road, said: "It's sad but this is what is going on today. You don't know who's living around here. You just have to teach your kids to do the right thing in these situations."

Smitham also sent out a warning letter, alerting parents and children to "stranger danger".

The incident, which occurred at 3.15pm last Thursday, involved a man apparently in his 40s and with short brown hair.

A mother, who wished not to be named, said: "It's absolutely disgusting. I've got a 13-year-old boy who walks to school. I don't particularly like him doing it but you can't get in their way at that age.

"You've got to let them grow up. I think it has been dealt with in the correct way by the school."

A similar incident occurred three days later on Sunday near an infants school in Beddington, Sutton, when a 12-year-old girl was grabbed and dragged off by a man. He managed to get her top off before passers-by were alerted and chased him off.

Croydon Police said they were not currently linking the two incidents. A spokesman said: "Officers from Croydon CID are investigating and the local Safer Neighbourhoods teams in Coulsdon have made local schools aware and are carrying out additional patrols around the schools.

"Officers are also reminding parents and children to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity or people to police."

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information should call Croydon CID on 101.

Police probe attempted abduction of girl, 11, in Coulsdon


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