POLICE have tonight thanked residents after claims a man tried to abduct a nine-year-old boy in a North Yorkshire town proved to be unfounded.

The boy had said he was approached by an unknown man outside his home in Norton between 7pm and 8pm on Thursday, and that he was forced to walk to the edge of the town before breaking free and running home.

The allegation led to North Yorkshire Police issuing an appeal for information this afternoon, with a force spokesman saying "a thorough and extensive investigation" was carried out. However, it was tonight confirmed the circumstances were "not as initially reported" and there was "no threat or danger to the wider community".

"We would like to thank the people of Norton for the support they have given to the investigation, and we hope any associated concerns and fears within the community and beyond can be allayed," said the spokesman.

The force said the boy involved was given specialist advice and support from police and other agencies during the investigation, and no further action will be taken.