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UK warns of Christmas surge in parents abducting children

Published on Dec 12, 2013 7:22 PM

LONDON (AFP) - Two children are abducted by a parent and taken out of Britain every day, authorities said on Thursday, as they sought to raise awareness of the problem ahead of an expected spike in cases after Christmas.

The number of parental child abduction and international custody cases involving the Foreign Office has more than doubled in the last decade, from 272 in 2003-2004 to 580 in the past year.

Contrary to the belief that fathers are most often to blame, mothers are responsible for 70 per cent of the abductions, the Foreign Office said.

Officials also stressed that the problem was not specific to any faith or country, although it is more likely in families which have links to more than one country.

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