|We are urging parents to speak to their children about the dangers of speaking to strangers following two incidents in the town.
On 16 January, we received a report that a 10-year-old boy had been followed by a vehicle in the St Laurence Road area.
The vehicle is described as black with tinted windows and a fairly new model. The driver is described as a white female with long dark hair. The front seat passenger was a white man.
Three people were sat in the back of the vehicle and they are reported to have got out of the vehicle in Culver Road and followed the boy.
The first person is described as a white female, aged approximately 25, 5 ft 3 inches tall, with light brown hair worn in pigtails with green ties. She was wearing a pink short-sleeved crop top, black jeans and pink or silver Nike trainers.
The second person is described as a white female, aged approximately 27, 5 ft 5 inches tall, with blonde hair in a ponytail and wearing a black top, beige jeans and carrying a grey or brown handbag.
The third person is described as a white man, aged approximately 32, 6 ft tall, of large build, with dark brown short hair. He was wearing a ‘Guinness’ t-shirt, a black leather jacket and Puma tracksuit bottoms.
In a separate incident, which is believed to be unrelated, two 12-year-old girls were approached by a man on their way to school as they walked in the Mount Pleasant area shortly after 8am on 15 January.
This man is described as white, with shoulder length brown hair and blue eyes. He was wearing a brown leather jacket, brown trousers and a black cap.
Community coordinator PC Charly Chilton said: “We understand the nature of these reports will cause some concern within our local community and we would like to reassure residents that we are continuing to conduct regular mobile patrols in the town as a result, especially at school opening and closing times. If you see our officers out and about please chat to them and share any concerns.
“We are fully investigating both reports which we do not believe are related at this stage and we would urge anyone who either recognises those involved from the descriptions we have been given, or anyone who saw either incident, to please call police on 101.
“We would also urge parents of the importance of talking to their children about the issues of strangers and their associated danger – please monitor their own fear and be careful not to alarm your children. Ensure they know who, when and where to get help.
“It’s important to stress that no attempts have been made to injure children or get them into a car but we do want people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to 101, or 999 in an emergency.
“There may well be a perfectly innocent explanation to these incidents, and if you are either the occupant of the vehicle, or one of those people described, please contact us so that we can complete our enquiries.”