Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Greater Manchester Is the 'Capital' of Child Abduction

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Greater Manchester Is the 'Capital' of Child Abduction

Article excerpt

A NEW study has identified Greater Manchester as the child abduction capital of the country.

And a charity is calling for a fresh approach to the traditional 'stranger danger' warnings delivered at home and in schools.

Action Against Abduction's figures show reports of 'non-parental' abductions logged by GMP increased by a quarter in the 12 months to March last year, from 108 offences to 133.

The charity said the 'vast majority' were unsuccessful 'attempts', but it's the highest number of reports to any force, including the Metropolitan Police covering the London area.

The rate of cases in Greater Manchester is equivalent to 21.75 offences per 100,000 children - more than three times the national average and almost double the rate of the next highest forces.

The charity, however, said a greater police focus on grooming and child sexual exploitation cases could account for the marked rise - a theory backed up by deeper police analysis.

The upward underlines importance children safety Geoff GMP say protecting young people is a 'high priority' and said the increase in non-parental abductions was reflected across the country.

Supt Joanne Rawlinson said highprofile operations launched to tackle child sexual exploitation have 'raised awareness of this abhorrent crime.' .

Cases of parental child abductions, including children being taken out of the country, fell from 13 to nine.

Action Against Abduction said all children naturally come into contact with strangers as they get older and claimed existing educational methods of 'stranger danger' cause 'fear and confusion'.

The charity has developed a new aid called 'Clever Never Goes' to teach youngsters about potentially dangerous situations and enforce the message that they mustn't go anywhere with a person they don't know.

The charity requested figures from all police forces under the Freedom of Information Act.

Reports of child kidnappings to GMP - a separate category of legal offence - also increased by eight offence from 24 to 32 in 2015/16, a rise of a third and higher than the national average.

Analysis of official government statistics by the M.E.N. also reveals more cases of parental and non-parental child abductions in the Manchester borough - 23 - than anywhere else in the country. …

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