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Kids cry "stranger danger" in North Yorkshire


3:17pm 17th November 2011
(Updated 5:22pm 17th November 2011)

North Yorkshire Police are offering reassurance and safety advice following recent reports by young people of drivers acting suspiciously.

There have been nine incidents reported this week in York, Selby, Thirsk, Richmond and Northallerton. They are being investigated to establish the full facts and if further police action is required.

There have also been numerous linked postings on social networking sites which have not been reported to the police.

Inspector Nigel Slater, of the Hambleton Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:

“I want to reassure everyone that all reports of children being approached by strangers, either on foot or in vehicles, are always treated extremely seriously and thoroughly investigated.

“The number of these types of reports which turn out to be of genuine concern are incredibly rare. However, we would always encourage people who are worried about an incident to report it to the police immediately with as many details as possible to assist police enquiries.

“Officers are also visiting schools in the areas where reports have been received to educate pupils about “stranger
danger” and how they can stay safe.”

Insp Slater added:

“I would advise young people to adhere to the everyday safety messages, namely to stay in well lit areas and, if possible, stay in groups. If they are approached, they should leave the area straight away and report the incident to the police or an trusted adult such as a parent or teacher.”

“I would also urge people to be cautious about messages placed on social networking sites. While they may be well intentioned, they can be inaccurate and based on rumour rather than fact.”

If you are approached by anyone acting suspiciously and you feel threatened, you must contact North Yorkshire Police immediately on 999.

Information that could help the police enquiries should be passed onto the force on 0845 60 60 24 7, or if you wish to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.



Brompton girl approached: police release image of suspect

Detectives have released an e-fit of a man they need to trace after a young girl was approached in Brompton, near Northallerton. 

efite of suspect

The incident occurred on Lead Lane at about 8.15am on Tuesday 15th November 2011, when a 12-year-old girl was walking towards Northallerton Road. 

A man who had parked his white van approached the girl and spoke to her twice, instructing her to “Come here”, saying his van had broken down. The girl then ran towards the crossroads on Northallerton Road. The van passed the girl a short time later as she was walking, with a friend, towards the Allertonshire Secondary School.

The man, who spoke with a local accent, is described as white, aged in his late 20s or early 30s, around 5ft 10in tall with a slim build and thin face, with heavy stubble. At the time he was wearing a plain black baseball cap, a black hooded top with the hood over the baseball cap, a high visibility vest, black cargo pant style trousers and black work shoes.

The van he was driving is described as a plain white Ford Transit.

Detective Inspector Andrea Kell, of Northallerton CID, said:

“This incident naturally left the young girl shaken and upset. Thankfully she was able to get away from this situation unharmed. She did the sensible thing and told her parents who reported the matter to police straight away.

“I need to trace this man as a matter of urgency. It may be that he spoke to the girl for an entirely innocent purpose and, if this is the case, I need to understand his reason for approaching the girl and I ask that he contacts me.

“I appeal to anyone who can identify him to contact the police immediately. If you would prefer to remain anonymous, pass information on to Crimestoppers."

If you can assist with the identification of this man or have any information that could assist the investigation, please contact DC Gary Smith-Owen at Northallerton Police Station on 0845 60 60 24 7 quoting reference number 12110193762.

Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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