Police appeal after men try to grab 5-year-old from his dad at Gants Hill Station

Gants Hill, Central Line station

Gants Hill, Central Line station - Credit: Archant

Detectives have launched an investigation after two men tried to abduct a five-year-old standing with his father in Gants Hill.

Gants Hill, Central Line station

Gants Hill, Central Line station - Credit: Archant

A Redbridge dad was waiting with his son on a platform at Gants Hill Station on Wednesday, June 27, at 3.30pm when two men approached them.

One of the suspects grabbed hold of the child and tried to pull him away from his father.

The dad intervened and managed to hold on to his child and stop the snatcher getting a better grip.

The men then ran off and boarded a Central line Tube going westbound.

Gants Hill, Central Line station

Gants Hill, Central Line station - Credit: Archant


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A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesman said officers attended the scene and conducted an extensive search, however, the two men had already left the area.

Det Sgt Andy Nattrass from BTP said: “We’re making a number of urgent inquiries to understand what happened, and why these two men grabbed this young child’s hand.

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“Fortunately, the father spotted the behaviour and prevented them from causing any further harm.

“These inquiries are in their early stages and I would stress that there is no cause for alarm.

“I would ask that anyone who was at Gants Hill Station on Wednesday afternoon and saw what happened to please get in touch, your information could prove vital.

In correspondence seen by the Recorder, the school the child attends warned staff to be on guard at school collection times.

“There was an attempted snatching of one of our pupils,” the deputy headteacher wrote.

“The police are unsure whether this is targeted or random so can all staff be extra vigilant especially at dismissal time.

“If there are suspicious looking individuals please notify the office immediately.”

Anyone who witnessed or has information about the incident should contact BTP by sending a text to 61016 or by calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 393 of 27/06/2018.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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