Meadowhall reassures customers after 'misunderstanding' sparks child abduction rumours

Police say they are satisfied there was no crime
Police say they are satisfied there was no crime
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Meadowhall has reassured customers after what is now understood to be a misunderstanding led to reports circulating online of an attempted child abduction.

Police and staff at the Sheffield shopping centre reviewed CCTV footage after reports that a stranger had taken a young boy's hand yesterday.

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Having analysed the footage and spoken to all parties involved, they are now satisfied there was no crime.

It is understood a woman who was in a hurry bumped into a mother and her child at the complex and bent down to apologise to the boy, but her actions were initially misconstrued as something more sinister.

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The episode led to rumours circulating online of an attempted child abduction at the shopping complex, but police and bosses at Meadowhall today sought to calm fears.

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police said: "South Yorkshire Police and Meadowhall have reviewed CCTV footage of this incident and can confirm that a crime did not take place.

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"This was a report made in good faith and it is our duty to ensure any matter is always looked in to thoroughly. All parties involved have now been identified and spoken to and in this instance there was no element of criminality."

A Meadowhall spokeswoman added: "The safety of our customers and team is always our key priority, and we work closely with a range of partners to maintain security, including a police presence across the centre. We would always encourage our visitors to remain vigilant."