Police call for calm amid Wirksworth child abduction rumours

breaking news
breaking news

Police are advising parents not to panic following two reports of children being approached by strangers in the Wirksworth area.

The force has confirmed that on Tuesday, an 11-year-old girl told her mother that a man in a small car drove past her in Middleton but then reversed as if to speak to her. She was frightened and ran off.

This morning, it was reported that a 10-year-old boy in Wirksworth said that, as he was playing outside his home last night, a man got out of his car and offered him sweets.

The boy ran away and the man drove off.

The reports follow an incident in Belper on April 23, in which two children who were walking to school were offered a lift by a man who was driving a 4x4.

They refused and he drove off.

Officers maintain that, despite a frenzy of posts on social networking sites from concerned members of the public, there have been no reports of any attempted child abductions.

A police spokesman said: “We don’t want to cause undue alarm but it’s important for children to be aware of what to do if they are scared by an approach from a stranger.

“We are aware that unsubstantiated rumours of child abductions are circulating on social networking websites. We are working to clarify what is true and what is speculation.

“Children have given us different descriptions of both the vehicle and the man involved so we have no reason to link these incidents. However we are taking these allegations seriously.

“It may be that some children are being unnecessarily concerned but as a precaution Safer Neighbourhood officers have spoken to head teachers at local schools.

“We are asking them to re-enforce the stranger danger messages that are normally issued to students. We would also like parents and other adults to be on the look-out for anyone acting suspiciously.”

Anyone who sees anything suspicious is urged to contact the Derbyshire Police immediately on 101.