Alert as man tries to lure girls away
A PRIMARY school has sent out a safety alert to parents after receiving reports of a man trying to coax girls as young as four into his car.
Police have said they are stepping up patrols around Millbrook Primary School after a parent reported suspicious activity in the car park of Freshbrook Village Centre, off Worsely Road, at around 4pm on Thursday.
Several parents reported they had seen an elderly-looking man in a green Ford Escort asking youngsters to look at Wallace and Gromit toys. But when officers arrived at the scene there was no sign of the car or suspect.
It comes in the same week as police in Wales launched a major missing persons enquiry for five-year-old April Jones, from Machynlleth, but a spokesman for Wiltshire Police said Swindon parents should not be unduly concerned and said officers would be visible in the area after school hours to reassure parents.
The school alert read: “A parent reported to the school that there had been an incident in the supermarket car park next to Millbrook Primary School.
“An elderly man in a green Ford Escort car had doors open and tried to encourage two young girls, aged approximately four and five, to get in to have a look at figures of Wallace and Gromit, which he had in the car.
“Another parent was able to confirm that she had also witnessed this, with another child being asked to get into the car.
“The incident has been passed to the police and the police log number is 206/4 October, should you have any further information.
“Please remind your pupils of the importance of awareness of their personal safety. It is sensible to go to and from school with others if possible and also play, along popular and open routes.
“It is safer to try to avoid unnecessary confrontation and students should always report aggressive or inappropriate behaviour towards them to a responsible adult as soon as possible.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Wiltshire Police received a call shortly after 4pm on Thursday, October 4 from a parent of a child at Millbrook Junior School, Swindon.
“The woman was concerned about an elderly man who was standing by a car off school property.
“As the woman walked past the car, the man spoke briefly to her and her children.
“The woman was with her children at all times and the man did not attempt to approach the children.
“Officers attended the scene and there was no man or car matching the description given to us.
“There is no evidence of any crime being committed whatsoever and parents should not be unduly concerned. “Officers will be increasing patrols in the area as an extra reassurance.”
Anyone with any information should contact West Swindon neighbourhood policing team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.