Northamptonshire Police responds to community concerns

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There have been a number of concerns recently regarding reports of a man in a car approaching teenagers in South Northamptonshire.

Police have said several of these have been innocent but confirm they are investigatng three reports; two in Helmdon and one by Greens Norton.

The two Helmdon incidents took place two weeks apart.

On each occasion a man has engaged in conversation with a teenage girl walking alone. Part of the discussion has related to offering a lift and on the second occasion the man touched the girl’s arm.

The description of the man and car differs between the two incidents.

Inspector Andy Hall said: “There has been understandable, significant interest in these situations via social networking since the first report this month. A number of other incidents have since been reported to us regarding men offering lifts to young people. Some of these have been third hand and unfortunately didn’t identify the actual person affected. Some have also had an innocent explanation.

“A similar report from teenagers in Towcester was confirmed to be a case of mistaken identity with no malicious intent.

“There was another report of a man in a white van - the only description given - offering a lift to a child on his way to Green’s Norton Primary School yesterday (Wednesday) morning and have had no similar reports since.

“Our investigations are ongoing and we rely on people reporting any suspicious activity. We’ve increased patrols across the area and officers are visiting schools to offer reassurance and safety advice.”

Police advise young people not to talk to strangers and if approached in a similar manner to tell an adult known to them straight away or ring 999.