Police name wanted 27-year-old after attempted child abduction in Lancashire

A 27-year-old man is wanted by police following an attempted child abduction in Blackburn.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 9:08 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 10:08 am
Police want to speak to Zakaria Elharak, 27, after reports of an attempted child abduction in Blackburn on Friday, September 6

Detectives are appealing for help after reports that a man tried to snatch a 12-year-old boy who was walking through a park on his way to school.

The schoolboy told police that he was on his way to school shortly before 8.30am on Friday, September 6, when a man crept up on him from behind in Corporation Park.

He said the man grabbed him around the neck and tried to drag him away, but the schoolboy managed to break free and escape.

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The terrified boy ran off and alerted a member of the public who then challenged the suspect.

The man then fled the park and ran away in the direction of Preston New Road.

Police have now named a man they want to speak to in connection with their investigation.

"Following extensive enquiries, we want to speak to Zakaria Elharak, 27, in connection with our investigation", said Detective Inspector Martin Melvin.

Police want to speak to Zakaria Elharak, 27, after reports of an attempted child abduction in Blackburn on Friday, September 6

Elharak, who also goes by the name Zackaria El-Haouari, has links to Blackburn and Toxteth in Liverpool.

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He is described as being 5ft 4in – 5ft 6in tall, of medium build. He also has a distinctive circular scar on the right side of his face and black hair.

Detective Inspector Martin Melvin added: "This was clearly a distressing incident for the young boy. Thankfully incidents of this nature are relatively rare, however we are treating it extremely seriously and have a number of resources dedicated to the investigation.

Zakaria Elharak, 27, who also goes by the name Zackaria El-Haouari, is described as being 5ft 4in -5ft 6in tall, of medium build, with black hair and a circular scar on the right side of his face

"We want to speak to Zakaria Elharak as part of our enquiries. If you have seen him or know where he may be, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

"I would also urge Zakaria, if he sees this, to come and speak to us."

If you have any information that could help, please call police on 101 quoting log number 271 of 6 September.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers.org.uk