Urgent ‘stranger danger’ warnings are being issued to parents and pupils at schools across Leyland and Chorley after two attempted abductions took place in the same week.
The Guardian last week reported how a 12-year-old schoolgirl was approached and followed by a man in a car in Stanifield Lane on Friday, November 16, while two days earlier, two men tried to lure a 15-year-old schoolgirl into their car in Chorley.
Concerns are now being raised on social networking sites over more alleged incidents in Chorley this week, but a police spokesman said that no new cases of a similar nature had been brought to their attention.
In a bid to protect their pupils and reassure worried parents, some schools have invited police officers to speak to youngsters, urging them to take on advice about their journeys to and from school.
A spokesman from Farington Primary School in Rose Street, Leyland, said: “We don’t want to scaremonger, as these things can get blown out of proportion.
“But we have had police officers come in, and we’ve also issued a slip to parents, advising them of what has happened and to be wary.
“Often primary school children are with their parents before and after school, but it’s the older ones that might travel alone.”
The headteacher of Farington Moss St Paul’s CE Primary School, Alison Gibson, also wrote of her “grave concern” in a letter which was sent home with pupils last week.
She wrote: “I have spoken to the children today about not talking to strangers.
“Please can you ensure that your child is collected from school and is not walking home alone, particularly as it is getting dark earlier.”
She told the Guardian: “I felt it was important that the parents were alerted to these incidents so they can make sure their children are kept safe.
“I just thought it was my duty of care to the children that parents should know this.”
Teachers at Leyland St Mary’s Catholic Technology College said they have spoken to children about stranger danger in assemblies, but have not issued letters to parents.
The incident in Leyland involved a girl who was heading to school at 8.15am.
She was asked for directions by a man in a dark coloured car on the Railway pub car park.
As she walked away, he followed her, driving slowly along Moss Lane, and the driver of the vehicle behind him sounded his horn because traffic was moving so slowly.
Just two days earlier, two men tried to lure a 15-year-old schoolgirl into their car in Chorley.
Police said the girl, a pupil at St Michael’s CE High School, was left “shaken” after being approached by the men in a black Fiat saloon, in a lay-by outside Chorley Hospital in Preston Road, at 8.15am.
A police spokesman said that there had been no arrests in relation to either incident.
Detective Sergeant Damian Barrow, from Chorley CID, added: “I would ask people to remain vigilant and be aware of their own personal safety and report any concerns they may have to the police by calling 101.
“Thankfully these incidents are extremely rare, but we are increasing patrols in the area and have notified local schools.”