Multiple reports of an alleged child abduction in Harrow circulated across social media this afternoon (13 May).
It was alleged that a young boy believed to be 5-years-old had been abducted by an ice cream van driver around South Harrow.
An image sent in to Harrow Online showed a number of police officers surrounding an ice cream van on Dudley Road in South Harrow. A police helicopter was also seen by onlookers.
One person commented online saying: “Police knocked on my door and asked if we heard the ice cream van and wanted a description of it if we saw it. We heard it but unfortunately we didn’t see it. So its possibly an ice cream van”.
Another person said: “I’ve got a boy myself, he’s 7 but I don’t even let him play in the communal area on his own, I’m ground floor and I’ve got a good view. Just can’t trust anyone”
A comment in the Harrow Online Group said: “I drove past on George V Ave about an hour or so ago and saw about 8 police cars and an ice cream van surrounded. I wonder if this is related.”
A Met Police spokesperson told Harrow Online: “Detectives investigating the circumstances of a reported abduction are content the offence did not happen.
“Police were called at 13:50hrs on Wednesday, 13 May to Wesley Avenue in Harrow.
“A child reported to his mother he had seen a younger child being forcibly taken into a vehicle.
“As a result of enquiries, at around 15:00hrs, a man in his mid-40s was stopped driving a vehicle in a street in Pinner.
“He was arrested on suspicion of abduction and taken to a north London police station. Police made extensive door-to-door enquiries at the location. As a result of enquiries police are now content the offence did not take place.
“The arrested man has been released with no further action and a full explanation of the facts.”