POLICE have stepped up patrols in Chippenham after three separate reports of young girls being followed by a man in a van.
The first incident happened at 8am on Wednesday, November 16, when a young girl who was walking along Ashfield Road was approached by a man in a van who gestured for her to come over.
She kept walking away from the man she described as white, with wavy, grey hair and in his 60s.
On the same day at 3.30pm, a 12-year-old girl was walking down Queens Crescent onto Hungerdown Lane before a van drove past her slowly, turned down a side road and re-appeared to drive past the her again before she met her parents.
The van was described as an old white car-based van with no markings or signage and the man was white.
The third incident happened on Friday at 8am, when a 15-year-old girl was walking along Brook Street where she was stopped by a man in a van who asked if she wanted a lift to school.
The girl said no before running to a friend’s house.
In this incident the man was described as white, with a beard, and aged in his 40s.
PCSO Sarah Moth said: “We are keeping an open mind as to whether these incidents are linked and our enquiries are ongoing at this stage.
“We have increased visible patrols in these areas, in particular at the start and end of the school day and would like to reassure the local community that we are taking these reports seriously.
“We would like to urge parents and guardians to talk to their children and stress the importance of not talking to strangers.
“If you are approached by anyone suspicious while out and about, please do not engage with them and call police immediately – call 999 at the time, or 101 after the incident.
“If possible, try and get a description of the driver or the vehicle.”