Police said there was ‘no evidence’ to support rumours of child abduction outside a school in Exmouth.

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Exmouth primary schools sent out chilling warnings to parents last week urging ‘extra vigilance’ after a man was arrested for approaching a group of children.

Abduction fears among parents were rife as Exmouth’s rumour mill swung into action on social networking site Facebook.

Detectives said parents’ concerns were understandable, but called for calm saying there had been ‘no evidence’ of abduction.

Detective Constable Pete Childs, at Exmouth, said rumours spreading on social network sites had sparked panic among parents.

He said a man helping police with enquiries had been ‘at risk’ because of the unfounded stories.

DC Childs said the community should remain vigilant, but calm, and report anything suspicious to police.

He said: “A male has been arrested, and is on bail, for approaching a group of children. I am investigating him for that.

“Facebook has gone absolutely mad and people have been a problem with misinformation and nearly put him in quite a bit of danger.”

Brixington Primary School’s text message to parents said: “Please exercise extra vigilance when collecting/dropping off children. An issue in the area is being dealt with by police. There will be extra police presence too.”

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