Appeal after attempted abduction of Beckenham schoolboy


Police are searching for two men after the attempted abduction of an 11-year-old boy near a south east London park.

The boy was walking home from school in Whitmore Road, Beckenham on Friday when he was approached by two males in a “small black van” who asked if he wanted a lift, the Met said.

He ran into a park where he informed two other men on a tennis court that he was being followed.

The two suspects then left, and the boy ran home to tell his parents.

He was not physically harmed but was “left very shaken” by the incident.

Police were called at 16:40 BST on Friday, but officers did not attend the victim’s address to speak to his family until Sunday.

‘Worrying circumstances’
The boy’s mother told the BBC police initially said, after speaking to the family, they would not investigate – something she described as being like a “gut punch”.

She said she posted what had happened on social media “to draw attention to parents about what was happening on our streets… and it went viral”.

“The police have now admitted that their initial response was wrong,” she said, adding that all she wanted was for the officers to “do their jobs and check it out properly”.

Supt Andy Brittain said the Met’s initial response “was not sufficient given the extremely worrying circumstances of this incident”.

He continued: “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.

“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.”

One of the men is described as white, approximately 5ft 10in tall. The second suspect is described as 6ft tall.

Supt Brittain 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.”

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Olivia Wilson
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