Mapped: Where children have been approached by silver car driver
PUBLISHED: 12:11 30 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 30 January 2019
Police have stepped up patrols in an area of Ipswich where five schoolchildren reported being accosted by a man in a silver car.
Officers will conduct door-to-door and CCTV enquiries after five children aged 11-12 were approached in three weeks.
They will also speak to local cab firms after some children said the vehicle had the features of a taxi.
Each incident is being treated as an accosting and is being followed up with information supplied in response to a public appeal.
On Monday afternoon, an 11-year-old schoolgirl was walking home in Fenton’s Way, Kesgrave, when spoken to by a man claiming to be a taxi driver sent by her mother. The girl, who ran to safety, described him as about 40, with a black hooded top, hat and gloves.
The first incident happened on January 7, when an 11-year-old boy was approached in Digby Road by a male driver, who asked if he wanted a lift home. The boy walked off as the man, described as white with slight stubble, drove away in a car described as light blue or grey – possibly a taxi.
On January 10, a 12-year-old girl was approached on her way home at the bus stop in Woodbridge Road East, near a lane from Digby Road, where a man in a silver car pulled up and claimed her mother booked a taxi to take her home. She also managed to run away.
Another 12-year-old girl was walking at the top of Bull Road and Celestion Drive on January 21 when the driver of a silver car, described as a taxi, approached and said ‘hello’. He was described as white, in his late 60s or early 70s, with a short white beard, navy blue cap and a flushed appearance.
The fourth incident was on January 22, at about 7.40am, when an 11-year-old girl was approached at the top of Wellesley Road.
Inspector Sally Henderson said: “We are working with local schools and know that advice has been sent out to the children regarding staying safe, for example, walking home with an adult or a friend where possible.
“Children have also been asked to report any incidents to us at the earliest opportunity, and on 999 at the time, if they can.
“We would ask people not to be alarmed but for any witnesses who may have seen anything suspicious within the Ipswich East area, particularly near schools, to contact police on 101, or 999 if it is a crime in progress.
“We would also like to hear from motorists who may have captured dash cam footage before 9am or shortly after 3pm in the area.”