David Young appearing in court over incident in which youngster was searched by man in hi-viz jacket
A chef has been charged with impersonating a police officer to kidnap a teenage girl.
The youngster reported being approached by a man wearing a hi-viz jacket who led her away from the road in the town’s Three Bridges area. He is then alleged to have searched her before leaving on a bicycle.
The girl was physically unharmed and is receiving support.
Young, of Garton Close, Ifield, Crawley, has also been charged with offences including kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence, kidnap and two breaches of a sexual harm prevention order.
Superintendent Marc Clothier of, Sussex Police, said: “We want to reassure people we have not received any similar reports at this time and there is no current risk to anyone in the community in relation to this case.
“You will see more uniformed patrols in the area and we encourage you to stop and talk to us if you have any concerns.”
Supt Clothier said if such a scenario happened in Sussex, officers should be asked to use their police radio to contact their operator and confirm their identity.
He added: “The operator can confirm the identity of the officer, that they are on duty and carrying out legitimate policing business. You can also ask a passer-by to observe.”