FILE PHOTO © Darren Staples / Reuters
A teenager was kidnapped by two men on her walk to school on a busy Oxford street on Wednesday morning and “subjected to a serious sexual assault,” possibly inside a car, before she was found alone, knocking on doors, four hours later.
The 14-year-old girl was wearing her school uniform when she was abducted by two white men driving a silver car. She was later found over a mile away from where she was taken.
Thames Valley Police have launched an appeal for witnesses and warned parents to make sure their children travel to school in groups. Extra police officers will be patrolling the area until the suspects are found.
“We are in the early stages of this investigation and we are carrying out extensive inquiries,” Detective Chief Inspector Simon Steel said.
“But I would appreciate the public’s help in relation to this very serious incident.
“This happened in what would have been a very busy area at this time of the day and I appeal to anybody who was in that area and saw an incident which matches the above report to call police immediately. It is possible you may have witnessed this incident and may not have realized the severity of the situation.”
His colleague Detective Superintendent Chris Ward said the girl, who is now under specialized care, was extremely traumatized by the incident. He added he did not believe she knew her attackers and was “possibly hugged” rather than dragged into the car.
The local policing area commander for Oxford, Superintendent Christian Blunt, argued the attack had been a “very concerning incident for all involved.”
“I would also ask people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious”, he added.
Ward councillor Elizabeth Wade described it as “every parent’s nightmare.”