Police probing apparent abduction of 12-year-old girl say claim 'made up'

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Detectives investigating the apparent abduction of a 12-year-old girl have said the allegation was made up.

The youngster said she had been snatched by a gang of four men and forced into a black taxi as she walked home from school in Stourbridge on Thursday.

But West Midlands Police said an "extensive investigation" showed the claim was false.

A police spokesman said no charges had been brought in connection with the allegation, but the investigation was ongoing.

Detective Sergeant Matt Slattery said: "Incidents of child abduction are thankfully rare, but any reports of such are rigorously investigated and any bogus accounts will be quickly uncovered."

He added: "Detectives responded in the way people would expect when faced with a report of a child being abducted.

"However, as the inquiry progressed, it quickly became clear the incident had not happened in the way it was described to us.

"I know that this allegation caused fear among local residents and although the investigation continues and the girl is being supported, I want to stress that the public were never in any danger."

The youngster originally told officers she was forced into a taxi in Teasdale Way, a suburban street in the Pedmore area of Stourbridge, on Thursday afternoon.

The girl said she was driven around for 90 minutes before the car stopped in nearby Clent and she was able to get out and escape.

A member of the public found her and helped to call the police, police said.

Schools in the area warned parents and pupils to be vigilant following the allegation.

In a letter on its website, Brierley Hill school Thorns Community College said the abducted girl was a Year 7 pupil at Pedmore Technology College.

The letter said the girl was approached by a "white male" who "had a foreign accent and appeared to know the girl, even though the girl did not know who he was".

Detectives trawled through CCTV camera footage in and around the area in a bid to identify the vehicle and any offenders - but after monitoring her route they found no evidence of the alleged attack.