Genuine misunderstanding prompted Churwell ‘suspicious man’ report

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Police investigating a report of a girl being approached by a man in Churwell have now established that the incident was a genuine misunderstanding,

Officers previously appealed for information after receiving a report of a seven-year-old girl being approached by a man as she played with a dog on land in Old Road, Churwell, at about 6.45pm on Wednesday, August 28.

As a result of enquiries, officers identified a vehicle and traced the man involved last night. He was arrested and interviewed about the incident and told officers he had approached the girl while out looking for his family’s lost dog.

Further detailed enquiries were conducted which supported the man’s account that it had been a genuine misunderstanding.

Detective Inspector Sean Duggan, of City & Holbeck Division, said: “It is completely understandable how the initial report of a man approaching a young girl caused significant concern in the local community and we recognise that those who reported it acted in good faith. Having now fully investigated the circumstances and traced the man involved, we are completely satisfied that this was a genuine misunderstanding and there has been no attempted abduction.

“There have also been further similar reports prompted by this incident, but people can be reassured that none of those have been substantiated. We very much value the support we get from our local communities passing on information about incidents but thankfully this situation has concluded with an innocent explanation.”