Child abduction suspect arrested in Cumbria

A Cumbrian man has been arrested after a police pursuit following reports two young girls were missing.

Officers were alerted that the friends, aged 12 and 15, had failed to return to their homes in Millom on Wednesday night and may be with an older man.

A vehicle with the girls inside was spotted in the early hours of Thursday and eventually stopped in Kendal.

A 20-year-old man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving, grooming and child abduction.

A police spokesman said the girls had been taken to a place of safety.

'Refused to stop'

The spokesman said: "Police officers received a call reporting concern for the welfare of a 12-year-old girl from Millom who failed to return home.

"During the course of inquiries, we were informed that her friend, a 15- year-old from Millom, had also failed to return home.

"Intelligence led officers to believe the missing girls may be with an older man, so police patrols across the county were deployed to search for them. Officers believed the girls may be with the man in a silver Peugeot 106.

"The vehicle was sighted this morning. It refused to stop and continued travelling towards Windermere then travelled on into Kendal.

"As the vehicle was forced to stop at traffic lights, officers intervened and the driver of the car was arrested.

"The 20-year-old man from Copeland is in custody and being questioned."

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