Police have ruled out a claim of abduction made by a 14-year-old schoolgirl who said she was snatched off the street in Oxford. Thames Valley Police now say that the shocking abduction "did not take place", but are still investigating an alleged rape.
The alleged victim said that she was on her way to school when she was taken by two men in a car. Police later released e-fit images of the two suspects. Now the force says that after reviewing CCTV, dash-cam footage and eye-witness accounts "the evidence gathered indicates that the reported abduction did not take place".
According to initial reports the victim said she was abducted by two men travelling in a silver car on Banbury Road in the Summertown area of the city, on 28 September this year. One man grabbed her in what was described as a "bear hug" before bundling her into a car.
A second man inside the hatchback vehicle then allegedly raped her. She was later found knocking on doors asking for help in Cavendish Drive, on the other side of the River Cherwell.
Detectives said that CCTV and dash-cam footage had been viewed, as part of a "thorough review". Superintendent Joe Kidman said there had been "a great deal of community concern" following the incident.
"In the weeks after the incident higher-visibility patrols were in place to provide reassurance and gather information," Kidman said. "We have worked with schools in the area on their security plans and are ready to respond to concerns raised.
"Working with vulnerable and young victims is an extremely complex and lengthy process, and it is paramount that they are protected appropriately."
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: "Thames Valley Police continue to investigate an offence of rape against the victim and are following all lines of inquiry to establish what has taken place. Specially trained officers and staff from the police, Oxfordshire County Council children's services, health and other agencies continue to work with the victim, at her pace."