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Schools placed on abduction alert

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SCHOOLS in Maidstone have been warned by police to be "extremely vigilant" after the attempted abduction of a 14-year-old girl. Officers contacted every school in and around the town centre after the unsuccessful snatch near the entrances to two secondary schools and one primary school.

The girl was walking down Leafy Lane, off Buckland Hill, Maidstone, at about 4.45pm on Tuesday when a white car, thought to be a Vauxhall Cavalier, stopped beside her. The driver, a white man, asked if she would like a lift. When she declined he grabbed her wrists, but the girl was able to struggle free of his grasp. The man drove off at high speed towards the A20 London Road.

He has brown hair and is clean shaven with a thin build. He has a deep voice and a local accent. He was wearing a dark coloured jumper and a Nike baseball cap.

Police think that Tuesday's attack and another attempted abduction of a teenage girl less than three months ago in Aylesford were perpetrated by different men, prompting fears that two attackers may be preying on children in the area. Police spokeswoman Gianna Pollero said: "This is extremely worrying and we are treating it very seriously.

"We have been in touch with all of the schools and told them to be extremely vigilant. We would ask people to be alert and report anybody suspicious."

She added: "The girl was badly shaken but not hurt." She was back to school the following day."

Maidstone and Malling Police are eager to talk to anyone who saw either of the attempted abductions or who has information which could help their investigations. They should contact Det Con Alan Sawyerr on 01622 608035 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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