Emergency services
The pair are accused of attempting to abduct a baby from a hospital iStock

A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of attempting to snatch a baby from London's Great Ormond Street hospital. The 31-year-old man and the 26-year-old woman are accused of conspiracy to abduct a child after walking into the hospital and telling staff they were there to see their prematurely born child.

The pair were holding a photo of a baby in an incubator – which police believe they printed off the internet – and told staff their child was born after 21 weeks at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel before being transferred to the neo-natal unit at Great Ormond Street on 1 March.

Staff rang the Royal London Hospital to confirm their story, but were told there was no record of a 21-week old baby born at that time.

The hospital rang police and the pair were both arrested.

They have since been bailed with the condition that they should not enter a hospital unless they are suffering a medical emergency.

Inspector Paul Clarke told the Camden Journal: "The actions of the staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital in making all of the necessary checks and the quick response of police in arresting a couple prevented what could have been a very frightening and harrowing incident."

A spokesperson for Great Ormond Street Hospital said: "Thankfully, this type of incident is exceptionally rare. We are pleased that staff at the hospital acted so swiftly and calmly to ensure the safety of all our patients."