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Alert after suspicious man approaches girls in Christchurch
POLICE are appealing for people to be on their guard after reports of a suspicious man in the Christchurch area.
They were contacted last week after two separate incidents involving a man allegedly trying to coax teenage girls into his van.
A 49-year-old mother, who asked not to be named, said her 16-year-old daughter is distraught following the two incidents.
She said: “She was walking along the road and a man in a van shouted something out of the window to her.
“The van was parked on the next road and he started asking her for directions and then tried to coerce her into getting into the van.
“He tried to coax her into the van, saying he would take her to work.”
The incident took place in the Portfield area on Thursday afternoon and then again on Friday morning.
The teenager’s mother added: “It’s a big white van – similar to a Transit or Mercedes van.
“It’s been the same person both times.
“The second time is happened right outside our house. She is terrified now that he knows where she lives.
“She is totally and utterly distraught. She’s never seen him before. She’s a smart girl, very sensible and this has really shaken her.”
A spokesperson for Dorset Police said they are investigating reports that a man has been acting suspiciously in the Christchurch area asking girls in the town for their mobile numbers and offering them lifts home.
PC Georgina Sykes from Christchurch Police, said:” I would like to reassure the public that incidents like this are extremely rare for Christchurch but I urge everyone to remain vigilant.
“I remind young people not to accept lifts from strangers and not to pass on any personal information to anyone that they do not know.
“I am keen to find the man concerned and I ask for anyone who sees or hears anything suspicious to contact the police on 101 quoting incident numbers 31:161 and 31:224.”