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Man arrested by Nottinghamshire Police officers on plane at Heathrow Airport seconds before take-off after child abduction report

Nottinghamshire Police officers managed to stop a plane seconds before it was due to take off to Romania, following a report a child had been abducted.

The rapid action of officers led to a man being tracked down on the runway at Heathrow Airport on a flight to Bucharest just an hour after he was reported to have taken the four-year-old girl without her mother's permission yesterday (Thursday 11 February).

A 32-year-old man, who is known to the girl and mum, has been arrested on suspicion of child abduction. The girl has been safely returned to her mum.

Nottinghamshire Police. (44128887)
Nottinghamshire Police. (44128887)

Detective Sergeant Ruth Walker is leading the investigation. She said: "When the report came in it was a race against the clock to find them.

"Using intelligence techniques and automatic number plate recognition cameras to help to trace and track down the car we identified he was at Heathrow Airport and did some border checks there to pinpoint which flight he was booked on to.

"We got the phone call at 4.57pm and they were due to fly at 6pm. It was due to take off and it was stopped on the runway.

"This was fantastic work by a whole host of officers and detectives across multi-agencies from Nottinghamshire and the Met Police.

"The plane was taxiing ready for take-off, but we were able to get there just in time before it took flight. The plane then returned to the terminal and the man was arrested.

"This was a hugely complex and challenging case, with its obvious pressures.

"I'd like to praise the team of detectives for their commitment and dedication to the investigation.

"If it wasn’t for the swift coordinated multi-agency response there may have been a very different outcome."

The man was questioned by detectives today and has been released on police bail, with conditions, pending further enquiries.

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