UK police
Police have launched a manhunt after a six-year-old was abducted in Burnley. Reuters

Police have launched a manhunt following the abduction of a six-year-old girl in Burnley.

The child was taken by the man from Nairne Street where she was playing on her bike, at around 4pm on 26 March.

She was later dropped off four miles away in Whitefield Street, Hapton, where she was found by members of the public in a 'very distressed' state. She was taken home before police were alerted. She was missing for 20 minutes.

Detective Chief Inspector Joanne McHugh said: "This investigation is very much in its early stages and we are determined to find out exactly what has happened to this young child and to catch the man who has done this.

"We have a team of detectives who are on with various lines of inquiry and will be speaking to people in the area, as well as looking for possible CCTV footage and forensic evidence. We will also be speaking to the victim.

"I would like to reassure the public that whilst incidents of this kind are rare, we have stepped up police patrols in the area. We have specially trained officers offering support to this young girl and her family at this time.

"I urge anyone who may have seen this vehicle, anything suspicious in the time leading up to the incident or indeed anyone with information about this incident to contact the police urgently."

Officers have begun the process of talking to the young girl, in a bid to establish the full facts of the incident and more details of the suspect's description. They are also looking at CCTV from the area which would enable them to identify the vehicle and registration plate.

The suspect is described as being white, in his 40s, with a tanned complexion and bald. He was driving a large dark coloured car.

Police have increased patrols in the area to reassure the local community.

Anyone with information can call Lancashire Police on 101 quoting incident reference 0916 of Thursday 26 March, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.