‘We must not jump to conclusions’ – Police on child snatching claims

Officers are searching for two men after attending an ongoing burglary in Newmarket Picture: SARAH L

Officers are searching for two men after attending an ongoing burglary in Newmarket Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A top Essex police officer has spoken out to reassure parents over concerns about child safety.

Essex Police say they have received numerous reports of people acting suspiciously around young children and babies in the last fortnight, including one incident involving two men acting suspiciously around a toddler in Halstead on Thurday October 1.

Following social media posts which raised the levels of concern among parents and carers, chief superintendent Andrew Mariner said the incidents were not linked and the facts were not always as they had been portrayed online.

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He said: “I want to personally reassure parents and others across the county regarding social media speculation which has been underway for the last fortnight.

“As a parent myself, I want you to know that I absolutely understand the worry something like this causes. We mustn’t jump to conclusions based on things we see on our social media feeds.

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“Essex Police has received a number of reports about people acting suspiciously around young people.

“We have looked into every report, and, in nearly every case, what has been reported has not matched the facts our officers have discovered on the ground.

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“We will always investigate reports of this kind and it’s right that people call us if they have a concern.

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“We have put a number of measures in place to ensure we look at all reports that come in.

“I can tell you we have seen no links between the reports we have received.

“However, yesterday, on Thursday 1st October, there was one incident in Halstead involving parents and their child, and I would appeal for anyone who has any information about this to get in contact with us.” Anyone with any information about the incident in Halstead should contact Essex Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

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