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Police criticised after abduction bid

A FATHER has criticised the police after they five times failed to interview his daughter when a man tried to lure her into his car.

Senior police officers at Gravesend have now promised to take up his complaint and find out why it wasn't dealt with.

Michael Porritt's daughter and her friend were sitting on a bench outside Woolworths in Gravesend town centre when a middle-aged man approached them. He sat near them and after a few minutes asked the girls if they wanted to go for a ride in his sports car. The startled girls got up and ran away.

When Mr Porritt was told what had happened he was asked to go to the station.

While there he was asked how long it would take him to get home. "That lead me to think that someone would be waiting on my doorstep when I got home," he said.

No-one turned up but he got a phone call saying someone would go round after 7pm. Again no-one turned up then or the following day.

"It wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't upsetting my daughter so much," said Mr Porritt. His wife then spoke to a police officer and was told no-one had turned up because there had been a lot going on in Gravesend over the weekend.

"I don't think that's good enough," said Mr Porritt. "They phone again during the week to say they would come round but didn't turn up.

"I understand that the police have to prioritise, but with all the things in the news at the moment about little girls going missing you'd think this would be a priority."

Mr Porritt has now had enough and has told the police he doesn't want to continue. "We have told our daughter that as far as we're concerned it is all forgotten about."

He stressed: "She is now worried about going into town without me or her mother and has lost her confidence. I think if she knew the police were trying to find the man she would feel a lot better. I just hope that in the meantime he hasn't approached anyone else."

Det Chief Insp Colin Croucher said: "At the time of the incident our call centre staff had ensured that the children were safe and in no immediate danger before proceeding.

"However we have taken up Mr Porritt's complaint and are currently investigating the reasons why a patrol was not dispatched to speak to the children and their family as soon as one became available."

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