Schoolboys admit to kidnapping hoax

Shaftsbury Street, Beech Hill - where the boys said the attempted abduction took place
Shaftsbury Street, Beech Hill - where the boys said the attempted abduction took place

AN URGENT stranger danger warning was launched after police received reports of a terrifying kidnap bid outside a Wigan school - but a day later the alleged victim and a young friend admitted to officers that they made it all up.

It had been claimed that two men, one of them masked, had tried to bundle a boy into the back of a van in Beech Hill on Wednesday morning. Good descriptions were given of the pair, who were said to be of Asian appearance, and schools in the area were contacted in order to alert students and parents.

The incident was reported to have happened in Shaftsbury Street, Beech Hill at around 8.30am when the two men got out of the grey-green van and tried to manhandle the unnamed 12-year-old into the vehicle. There was said to have been a struggle before the men drove off empty-handed.

The van was said to have distinctive black racing stripes on the bonnet and roof. Descriptions were given of a tall man all in black wearing a balaclava and a chubby-faced accomplice aged about 30 with blond-streaked hair in a ponytail. Details of the incident were circulated by St John Fisher High School to parents and other schools via Facebook.

Police interviewed the boy and a 12-year-old friend of his who said he had seen what had happened. But yesterday afternoon officers said that after inquiries were carried out it was confirmed that “no such incident took place.”

Police have nonetheless been in close contact with nearby schools and given advice on the safety of pupils. And officers will continue to carry out reassurance patrols in the area.

Det Sgt Graham Clare said: “We will always take every report of incidents of this nature seriously and carry out inquiries.”

It is not clear what, if any action, will be taken against the boys.