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29 August 2016, 11:02
Officers looking into case near Redhill Train Station as possible child abduction arrest man on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in connection with a suspected child abduction in Redhill.
The initial witness account reported that a young boy was seen being taken into a black VW Transporter van between 4.20pm and 4.40pm on Redstone Hill on Thursday afternoon (August 25).
Officers had no reason to disbelieve the account of the witness and had to act quickly in order to prevent what was suspected to be a risk to the life of a child.
In the days since, officers have carried out an extensive and thorough investigation into this report which has not brought about any evidence to corroborate it.
The appeal for help from the public and media has received an overwhelming reaction which we are extremely thankful for.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Pete Fulton, said: "The risk to life and safeguarding children are our first priorities when presented with a report like this which is why we took the course of action we did. Time was of the essence which is why we asked for help from the public and media to find out what happened as soon as we could.
"Reports of this nature are extremely rare and we are the sure the public understand that when information such as this is received we treat it extremely seriously and must do all we can to find out investigate what's happened.
"It is understandable this has caused a considerable amount of concern and confusion in the area which will last beyond just these few days.
"We will continue to work with the community and realise that this has been disruptive and had a large impact, however I hope that you are reassured that we take your safety extremely seriously.
"The witness has been re-interviewed at length about their account and at this stage and as a result of our enquires no further information has come to light to corroborate the report.
"There has been no report of any missing child in connection with the case and we have carried out extensive enquiries.
"These have included reviewing hours of CCTV from across the area, carrying out house to house enquiries, talking to commuters at the railway station, checking potential vehicles matching the description and missing children databases, receiving more than 100 calls from members of the public in less than 24 hours, all of which takes a significant amount of time.
"Once again we are extremely grateful for the support from the public and the media."
The man has been released on bail.