Thursday, 15 April 2021

Girl avoids abduction attempt

TWO men tried to snatch a young girl off the street in Woodcote.

The pair, who were in a white Nissan Juke, slowed down to approach the five-year-old as she walked along Whitehouse Road.

They shouted at her to get into their car but she ignored them and they sped off when they realised her mother was only a short distance away

It is understood that the girl, who was walking home from visiting a friend, was not upset afterwards.

Police are investigating the incident, which happened early on Wednesday evening last week.

Parents of children at the village primary school were warned about the incident by text and it was shared on social media sites for local villages.

It happened as residents have called for a greater police presence in the village following the departure of Goring and Woodcote police community support officer Mark Bell.

Former Woodcote parish councillor Pete Sudbury, who is friends with the girl’s family, said: “There is evidence that tolerating low-level lawlessness such as this leads to an increase in more serious offences.

“It’s called the ‘broken window’ hypothesis.

“In Wallingford, where I’m an Oxfordshire county councillor, the police do almost nothing, claiming all their resources are devoted to tackling ‘county lines’ drug rings.

“Assertive, positive community policing isn’t a luxury — it is the foundation of a law-abiding society. It is no accident that people feel emboldened to try kidnapping a small child.”

Villager Andrew Jarvis told a parish council meeting: “My child is the same age and I can tell you there are some very worried parents out there.”

Thames Valley Police are appealing for anyone with information to call 101.

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